Tipperary Venue

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The Tipperary Venue was a proposed super casino development on a projected 325 hectares (800 acres) site adjacent to the M8 motorway at Two-Mile Borris, County Tipperary in Ireland. [1] As originally planned, the project proposed the building of an all-weather racecourse and greyhound tracks, equestrian centre, 500 room hotel, eighteen hole golf course, 15,000 capacity "underground entertainment" venue, heliport, a replica of the White House and a "Las Vegas Strip-style" casino. [2] [3] [4]


While, as of 2015, the project's developers were reportedly "continuing to purchase land and properties in order to develop a casino", [5] as of 2017 it was reported that Ireland's gambling legislation did not support the proposed development. [5] The planning permission for the proposed project expired in 2018. [6]

Proposed development

The development, which was projected (as of 2009) to cost €460m and subsequently granted planning permission by North Tipperary County Council, was originally proposed to include a 500 room "five star" hotel, a large casino, and a replica of the White House. [4] The venue's proposed racecourse was planned to include a national hunt track, a 7-furlong sprint track and an all-weather flood-lit track. This would be combined with a greyhound track, a dual stadium incorporating a capacity for 7,000 patrons and a 15,000-seater underground entertainment venue with a retractable roof. [3] There were further plans for an 18-hole golf course, driving range, retail outlets, equestrian centre, timber chapel, and a heliport. [4] The facility's initial plan included approximately 6,000 car spaces. [1]

The project's initial instigator and primary backer was "slot-machine tycoon" Richard Quirke. [7] [8] Other initial supporters of the project reportedly included local independent TD Michael Lowry (described by the Irish Examiner as "closely associated with the project"), [3] racehorse trainer Aidan O'Brien, [3] and concert promoter Denis Desmond. [9] Thurles racecourse, owned by the Molony family, reputedly "agreed to close" upon completion of the proposed project. [10] It was suggested that 1,000 people could be employed during the three years of planned construction. [11]


In June 2011, planning permission was given by An Bord Pleanála for the proposed venue. However, the planning board refused permission for the 15,000-seater "underground" music venue as it was deemed inappropriate considering the rural location. [12] [13] [14] The proposed project reportedly "ran into trouble almost immediately" and was opposed by the conservation body An Taisce and a number of local residents. [5]

The project was also dependent on the Oireachtas agreeing to pass new gaming legislation to actually allow the casino to open. [15] In September 2011, then Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said the casino was "[ruled] out" based on a cabinet decision. [16] Taoiseach Enda Kenny also ruled out any large-scale gaming venues, stating that the government was concerned about the protection of the young and vulnerable. [17] Legislation was then proposed by the Minister of Justice to provide improved regulation of smaller casinos, and the government also agreed to start work on drawing up further laws. [18] [19]

Following submissions by Quirke in 2013, the Irish Independent reported that there was "no sign of the Government altering its ban on supercasinos". [20] As of January 2017, the proposed legislation made "provision for the licensing of modest-sized casinos" only. [5] While the original planning application expired in 2018, the developer applied for (and was granted) an extension until March 2023. [6] [21] [ needs update ]

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  13. "Tipperary casino and leisure complex given the go ahead by An Bord Pleanála". the journal.ie. 13 June 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
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  20. "Only rich could afford to come to my casino, says Richard Quirke". independent.ie. Independent News & Media. 11 November 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
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