Hotel dependent on casino, says promoter

The hotel element of a €460 million sports and leisure complex planned for a rural site in Co Tipperary will not go ahead if a proposed casino is not allowed, promoters have said. A “resort casino hotel” with up to 500 bedrooms is part of the “Tipperary Venue” earmarked for an 800-acre site at Two-Mile-Borris near Thurles. While gambling legislation is currently being reviewed by the Department of Justice, the venue’s architect said yesterday the hotel and the casino “are effectively one” and dependent on each other.

The Tipperary Venue also includes turf and all-weather horse racing tracks, a greyhound track, a 15,000-capacity indoor entertainment venue, a golf course and an equestrian centre. Businessman Richard Quirke is behind the venture, while Independent TD Michael Lowry has been a keen supporter. They say about 1,000 jobs will be created during construction of the venue, while 1,350 full-time jobs would be in place when complete.

Architect Brian O’Connell told the third day of a Bord Pleanála hearing into the project the hotel/casino “is predicated on the licensing regime” and would depend on the Government’s decision regarding casino laws. “There’s a new economic opportunity within the market for providing conference facilities within a casino hotel,” he said.

The Irish Times