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Work to start on ?100m golf hotel as appeal is withdrawn

A PLAN to build a ?100m Citywest-style hotel and golf course development in Co Longford - the biggest in the county - is to go ahead after two objectors withdrew their appeals.

The development at the 17th century Carriglas Manor Estate was given the go ahead by Longford Co Council before Christmas but was appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

However, this week the board confirmed the appeal was closed after the two objectors withdrew their appeals.

The decision means that construction of the massive project can go ahead.

The development includes a new village three miles from the town featuring a 200-bedroom hotel, a 311-unit housing development, a golf course and clubhouse, a nursing home, and the redevelopment of the manor house into a guesthouse.

A natural conservation area and deer park will be retained and the ruins of an old church are to be renovated.

It is likely to prove a major tourism boost to the north Midlands.

The old manor house was designed by architect James Gandon, who was also responsible for Dublin's Custom House and Charlie Haughey's mansion home, Abbeville.

The Co Longford manor is a listed building dating from 1776 and was originally the Jacobean seat of the Bishop of Armagh.

The estate was lived in until recently, when it was sold to the consortium headed by local businessman Tom Kearns from Lanesboro.

Mr Kearns could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

Local public representatives have broadly welcomed the development.

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"This will really put Longford on the map. It will attract conferences and overseas tourists to the county, and may also attract future development," said Senator James Bannon.

Development is likely to begin in the coming months, and the project could take up to three years to complete.

The project will employ up to 300 people in the construction phase and create about the same number of tourism-related jobs once complete.

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