Las Vegas in Ireland: Will the Strip come to Tipp?
Plans to build Las Vegas style casino and entertainment complex near Thurles
If businessman Richard Quirke has his way, then Two-Mile Borris could become Ireland’s sin city with its own casino in the midst of the Irish countryside.
Quirke, who amassed his wealth in the gaming industry, plans to invest €460m ($680m) in the 800-acre development, known as the “Tipperary Venue,” on which he plans to build a golf course, an all-weather racetrack, greyhound track, concert venue with a retractable roof and of course the casino in a five-star hotel.
And Quirke is not without support, with world renowned horse trainer Aidan O’Brien, concert promoter Denis Desmond and Independent TD Michael Lowry all backing the ambitious venture.
There will be a replica of the original White House, which was designed by Kilkenny man James Hoban, in the entertainment village, and the project has also got the thumbs up from the White House Historical Association in Washington.
“It is the most sophisticated and ambitious project that Ireland has ever seen,” said Lowry, a former government minister with Fine Gael in the 1990s.
Quirke, a former Garda (Irish police officer) now based in Dublin, has already put €30m into the project acquiring land, and Lowry does not foresee any problem with getting the rest of the money together.
“He already has a number of investors willing to come onboard and the reality is that this venture will float on its own commercial merit,” continued Lowry.
Quirke will make his planning permission application to the North Tipperary County Council Wednesday and if all goes well, construction on the project could begin in spring 2010.
It will take an estimated three years to complete. 1,000 jobs will be created every year in the building of the “Tipperary Venue” and up to 2,000 full time jobs will be created after that.