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Saturday 23 September 2017

Last orders called on stag and hen parties

FRANK KHAN Tourism Correspondent

Temple Bar pulls the plug on single sex shenanigans STAG parties have given Dublin tourism chiefs such a multi-million pound headache they have banned them in Temple Bar.Every weekend thousands fly in to Dublin from Britain for short breaks, many on the cheap fares offered by Ryanair. Many are young parties of English, Scots and Welsh on stag and hen weekends.

However, instead of enjoying the usual craic in the 34 pubs and bars on the stag/hen circuit in Dublin's Temple Bar, as of tonight they will be greeted by signs saying ``No hen or stag parties catered for in these premises.''

Yesterday, Britain's Cresta Holidays, which brings thousands of British visitors to Dublin annually, said it would be concerned how the new ban was policed and the attitude adopted to single sex parties.

Marketing director Jane Williams said: ``People go to Dublin because it is the life and soul of the party. We hope this does not mean people will say `Don't Go to Dublin it isn't fun anymore'.''

She also expressed concern that the ban in Temple Bar would only result in the groups moving to other parts of the city. However, she admitted only half a dozen of the hotels Cresta used here actively welcomed single sex groups.

In the past five years Dublin had become the company's third most popular destination of 120 cities worldwide rated only behind Paris and Amsterdam.

Last night Dublin Tourism pointed out that stag/hen parties made up only 1pc of total overseas visitors. ``We understand Temple Bar Properties' concerns and we recognise the rights of hoteliers and publicans to refuse this business.''

The dramatic decision to ban the groups 93pc of whom are British came after a study showed that the unruly element is discouraging 13pc of potential tourists, or revenue worth £57m per year.

The study, commissioned by Temple Bar Properties (TBP), also revealed that 60pc of the stag/hen visitors pay less than £50 for their daily room and 31pc of them pay less than £30. The report estimated their total spending per day, including accommodation, is £100.

The report says Bord Failte and other marketing agencies should think again about highlighting ``Dublin pubs'' and ``Dublin as a party capital'' in the UK.

Spelling out Temple Bar's rejection of the partying groups sometimes numbering up to 15 at weekends, TBP's managing director Laura Magahy said: ``There is now a ground swell of public opinion against the crude and offensive behaviour often associated with stag/hen parties.''

The company met with every licence holder in Temple Bar over the past two weeks and they all agreed to the action now being taken.

Ms Magahy cited some examples of groups' behaviour; one man parading nude covered only in clingfilm, a man was left handcuffed to a lampost, groups often heard shouting and roaring on their pub crawls, intimidating other visitors.

Last night the Dublin Chamber of Commerce said ``time'' should be called on stag/hen tourism. ``This is not the type of business and behaviour Dublin needs,'' said president Jim Ryane.

In a further bid to maintain the area's image, publicans are paying £2,000 each per annum to ensure a morning street-cleaning operation.

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