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This 'knickers for for liquor' stunt is asking for trouble

ISN'T it sickening to see a club so hard up for "entertainment" that it needs to have teenagers strip off their underwear for hilarity?

Despite recent allegations of a sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl within its premises, Tramco nightclub, in Rathmines, decided to have a "bit of fun" with the other girls it lets in the doors, by running a "knickers for liquor" promotion.

Yes, hilarious, I know.

What were they after? Calvin Klein boxer shorts? A fetching line in Y-fronts? No, of course not -- this one was for the girls all the way. Boozed-up 18-year-olds whipping off their thongs or bikini knickers from under barely-there mini dresses in an attempt to get even more booze into them.

Classy or what?


Obviously it's not only Leaving Cert results night when Dublin's teens lose the run of themselves -- nightclubs like Tramco are helping them do it all the time. Promotions like this are silly, unnecessary and, to quote the Rape Crisis Centre, "exploitative". It certainly puts girls in particular in a very vulnerable position and, I would argue, is tantamount to recklessness.

This club is already under scrutiny -- it doesn't need any more. A free drinks promotion is one thing -- and actually, not a good thing, for any reason. But why insist that the young people present swap their underwear for drinks?

It's such an intimate and private thing to do. If the club wants to give out free drink -- then have a ticket system, or bar staff handing it out -- they at least should be copped on enough to know when someone's way over their limit.

That's not to say the revellers minded, it has to be said.

This is obviously the norm for them -- or they were so off their faces on drink that they simply didn't care anymore.

Taxes on drink are high for a reason: it puts people off over-indulging. If you've a certain amount to spend in a night, you know when you're done. Handing it out like water means nobody's responsible for how much gets drunk. You cannot expect a brand new adult to act like a seasoned one.

The club appears unrepentant, promising many more "similar promotions" in the future. It appears not to be fazed by the ongoing garda inquiry into an alleged sexual assault in its toilets - of, let us remember, a 15-year-old girl. No, it's fun, fun, fun all the way.

Well, if you can call woozy, out-of-their-head girls and lads -- not even out of their teens, fun. And the result: hundreds of drunk young people wandering about with no underwear on. Great for the slow sets. We're used to seeing that kind of behaviour in some of the seedier resorts of the Canary Islands -- and programmes such as TV3's Boozed Up Irish Abroad made us cringe in embarrassment for our young people.

How about then you find out that one of yours is being encouraged to carry on in the same way in a Dublin suburb? If I were a parent of any of these kids, I'd not just be mortified -- I'd be afraid.