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Public anger cannot stop 'knickers for drink' stunt

THE promoters behind a controversial stunt at a Dublin nightclub have rejected claims by the Rape Crisis Centre that the stunt was "exploitative".

Midnight Promoters, which launched a "knickers for liquor" night at Tramco nightclub in Rathmines, have said the offer is an example of "more exciting things to come".

Last Friday night, club-goers were told they could exchange their underwear for a free drink.

However, the Rape Crisis Centre called the stunt "exploitative and objectifying of sexuality", particularly because the nightclub was at the centre of an alleged sexual assault just three months ago.

Midnight promoter Jamie White, who organised the promotion, said the nightclub has undergone a change in staff and management since the alleged assault.


"Although the venue is the same, the management, age profile and promoters are entirely different," he said. He added that the promotion went down better than expected.

"It went down well. There was a positive response -- not a huge amount took part, but those who did take part did so in good fashion," he said.

The Herald revealed how hundreds of youngsters exposed themselves and posed in a sexually explicit manner to attain a free drink.

Clubbers were spotted flaunting their underwear, while crowds cheered in encouragement.

Promoters said the nightclub can expect more "innovative and exciting" promotions in the weeks ahead.

They said they have received no complaints from locals and Mr White added that the Rape Crisis Centre was "wrong" to say it was exploitative.

Ellen O'Malley Dunlop, of the Rape Crisis Centre, said she stands by what she said.

She described the stunt as "insensitive".

"It's clubs like this which are objectifying sexual behaviour. People are entitled to have fun but this is totally exploitative and objectifying," she said.

"We certainly wouldn't be supporting something like this."

Gardai are still investigating claims by a 15-year-old schoolgirl that she was sexually assaulted at a disco in June.