Withdrawal by Arnotts of ‘pole dance’ shirt welcomed

A support group for women who have been affected by prostitution has welcomed the decision by Dublin retailer Arnott’s to remove a ‘My First Pole Dance’ T-shirt from its store.

Ruhama described the T-shirt, which depicts a man and two boys at a lap dancing club in a children’s book cover-style picture, as “quite shocking”.

The group was alerted to the T-shirt by a member of the public and there were hundreds of complaints after a picture of it was shared on social media.

“We very much welcome Arnott’s quick response in removing all the T-shirts and the follow-up call in which they apologised for it,” Geraldine Rowley of Ruhama said yesterday.

“We were surprised that a traditional family store like Arnott’s would stock it, and its depiction of exposing children to lap dancing.

“Obviously we wouldn’t welcome anything to do with the lap dancing club industry which has links to prostitution, trafficking and the exploitation of women.

“But this was quite shocking and presents going to such a club almost as a rite of passage. What kind of message is it sending out?”

In a statement, Arnott’s said that the T-shirt was removed from its store and website as it caused offence.

“The T-shirt brand in question deals in humorous products, but in this instance, we apologise for the unintentional offence caused,” it said.

“Once it was brought to our attention, we acted immediately.”


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