| 13°C Dublin

Lowry loses gamble over supercasino

INDEPENDENT TD Michael Lowry's hopes for a €460m Las Vegas style casino in a Co Tipperary village have been shattered by a Government decision to block the development.

Mr Lowry supported the plans for a massive super casino at Two-Mile-Borris, saying it would give an economic boost and bring 2,000 jobs to his Tipperary North constituency.

Plans for the complex included a 6,000 sq m casino covering almost 1.5 acres, turf and all weather racecourses, a golf course, a 500 bed hotel, a greyhound track, a replica of the White House and a heliport.

An Bord Pleanala granted permission in June for the plans by businessman Richard Quirke, but Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the casino was "out", based on a decision made at Cabinet yesterday.

"I'm disappointed, particularly in the context of the announcements that we've had regarding job losses this year," Mr Lowry said.

A decision would now be made on the project in the next two months, Mr Lowry said.

"The site is multi-purpose and that still stands," he said. "In the event of it not getting a (casino) licence, we've looked at what elements are standalone."

A spokeswoman for Mr Quirke said he and his team would assess the statement.

Ruling out the Two-Mile-Borris proposal, Mr Shatter said that while the Government accepted such developments would bring benefits, it was concerned they were so large they could attract other activities that posed a risk to vulnerable people.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Cabinet was concerned about the protection of young and vulnerable people in the gambling area.