THE former Stringfellows club in Dublin has been turned into a €2 bargain shop.
And while local residents vehemently opposed the shortlived lap dancing club on Parnell Street, they have welcomed the new plan.
The club, run by British businessman Peter Stringfellow, closed down five months after opening following continuous protests in the Dublin 1 area.
After throwing its doors open at the peak of the boom in February 2006, Stringfellows failed to attract a sufficient number of customers and ceased to operate in July of that year.
The closure was attributed in a large part to protests organised by locals.
Martina Keogh, from Dominick Street in Dublin 1, who picketed Stringfellows, welcomed the new store, which is opening this week.
“That is good for the area. It is vacant at the moment. It has never been open since Stringfellows closed,” Ms Keogh said.
“(Parnell Street) was the wrong area for Stringfellows. I protested there every day but no one will mind if it's a bargain shop. How could you mind?
“People will go in there and buy a bargain.
“Especially with the recession, you could do with shops like that,” she added.
Independent councillor Christy Burke, who also picketed Stringfellows with the late Tony Gregory, said the new shop will “bring a bit of vibrancy and employment” to the area.
“It will bring a bit of life and it is better what was there”. Dublin City Council granted permission for a change of use last year and the new bargain outlet has recently opened.
In 2006, members of the Catholic group the Legion of Mary joined in with the protests outside Stringfellows.
They gathered three nights a week from 9pm to 11pm to picket the premises while it operated as a lap dancing club.
The group even handed out miraculous medals to the girls going in to work in the club.
Some of the residents picketed the venue on a nightly basis, waving banners declaring ‘No Sleaze In Our Area'.
The club said at the time that it closed as it was running at a loss and that the protests outside had damaged business.
It had been due to open in November 2005 but legal issues over the granting of licences resulted in the loss of valuable Christmas trade, it said.
The glitzy venue had charged clients €30 for three-minute private dances.