A proposed sex shop on Dublin's northside will not open after a campaign by moralists and whingers.
The proposed shop, PlayBluem, was to have been located on Redmond Road, Drumcondra, but managers have now decided to hand back the keys.
Co-owners of the shop Robert Doyle and Richie Cullen met with the landlord for the premises, Michael O'Keeffe, and Vincent Kelly, over the weekend where the possibility of a compensation package to prevent the shop opening in the area was brought
up. At first nothing had emerged from this. But Fine Gael councillor Noel Rock led a petition and said that there was another meeting between the parties. Following this, it emerged that the shop will not open. No details of any agreement were
The shop had already been stocked and was ready to open when 30 people had assembled outside the Play Blue shop to protest against the shop.
The owners also run a shop called Scandalous in Kilkenny City which was taken over by the pair in 2013.
More than 450 high-street head shops and online sellers of legal highs face closure across Britain under the blanket ban on new psychoactive substances to be debated in parliament on Tuesday.
The first Home Office estimate of the extent of the trade in legal highs, which are to be banned from April next year, describes it as an industry making a 40% profit of £32m a year on an annual turnover of £82m.
The psychoactive substances bill, which is to receive its second reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday, is designed to ban the trade in legal highs, probably from April next year. The legislation includes exemptions for everyday legitimate
psychoactive substances including alcohol, tobacco and caffeine and is also expected to include an exemption for legitimate medical and scientific research.
The ban will cover a range of synthetic chemical substances designed to mimic traditional illegal drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy and will extend to cover nitrous oxide -- laughing gas or hippy crack -- the second most popular
recreational drug in Britain.
The estimate of the size of the legal highs market is the first indication of the scale of the industry that faces closure as a result of the ban. The Home Office estimate that based on police and local authority sources there are about 335 high
street head shops for whom legal highs is a main source of income. On top of this there are a further 115 UK-based websites offering them for sale online.
The Home Office says there are a further 210 smaller suppliers of legal highs including tattoo parlours, sex shops and newsagents for whom the trade is not a major source of income but which will also be hit by the ban.
The bill is expected to receive widespread support in its second reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday. But Lady Meacher, of the all-party parliamentary group for drug policy reform, is expected to warn that the blanket ban will lead to young
people turning back to street dealers or the internet, and will not reduce their overall use.
Licensing authorities will be able to continue charging for the cost of enforcement but may have to change how they do it, following a ruling by the Supreme Court.
The case, involving Westminster City Council and sex shop owner Timothy Hemming, had threatened to prevent councils charging anything more than the cost of processing a licensing application. This prevented the council from charging legal shops
to pay for the cost of closing unlicensed premises that are nothing to do with the fee paying shops.
In May 2013 the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Hemming who had successfully argued that charging for the cost of enforcement was inconsistent with European law.
However, Westminster appealed and a Supreme Court ruling handed down this morning overturned this decision. The judgment said:
There is no reason why [a licensing fee] should not be set at a level enabling the authority to recover from licensed operators the full cost of running and enforcing the licensing scheme, including the costs of enforcement and proceedings
against those operating sex establishments without licences.
The court said its decision followed interventions from interested parties including the Treasury, the Local Government Association and the Law Society.
Hemming had also argued that it was not legitimate for Westminster to charge the full cost of licence on application, which was £29,435 in 2011-12, even though the bulk of this fee, £26,435, was refundable if the application was unsuccessful. The
Supreme Court did not rule on this point but has referred the matter to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. It is not likely to rule for at least a year.
A new business at 66 Holloway Road, Islington, is helping bereaved families get rid of unwanted pornography.
Webuyanyporn.com, set up by the owners of exotic literature shop Ram Books to collect more stock, has been inundated with calls from loved ones trying to off-load erotica left behind by the deceased. The owner explained:
It was started to collect more stock but now I'm getting lots of calls from people with old porn that they don't know how to get rid of.
They call and say 'my grandfather has just died, my dad's just died, my uncles just died -- and I've found all these old magazines'. We give a fair price for everything.
I've probably got stock from every era of porn from the 50s upwards. Some of the Harrison Marks stuff can fetch about £50 for one magazine.