| 9°C Dublin

'Brides-to-be will stay away, if sex offenders move in'

THE owner of a bridal shop on Parnell Street fears brides-to-be will avoid her shop if ex-cons move into the area to attend the rehabilitation centre.

Tina Dempsey (47), owner of Alexander's Bridal, is protesting against the Bridge Project moving to Wolfe Tone Street, which is only a short distance away from her shop.

"I keep my doors locked already as it is. We've been held up a few times, but not in the last two years," she said.

"If these offices open across the road, I think people will be frightened, they'll be nervous and cautious."

Tina fears excited brides, who are looking to be pampered while they shop, will steer clear of an area which is teeming with ex-prisoners.

"They will look down to my shop and ask themselves if they'll walk down there. I think they'll avoid the businesses here," said Tina.

"Certainly walking out, they don't want to wonder is my car safe, or my handbag. When you think of how nice shopping for a dress is supposed to be for a woman, it will be ruined.

"I fear business will go down, and I own this shop so the value of my premises will go down. Word will spread like wildfire that the area is not safe.

"I'll fear for my staff when they're walking down to the Dart or to the bus."

Business owners and residents on Parnell Street and Wolfe Tone Street held a protest yesterday outside the building where the centre is due to open.

Troubled developer Liam Carroll is the owner of the warehouse, but it is being leased out for use by the Bridge Project.