The County Council of North Tipperary has approved plans for a €460 million project which includes a 6,000-square-meter casino and 500-room hotel.
The concept from developer and gaming arcade operator Richard Quirke incorporates a replica of the U.S. White House, the casino and five-star hotel, an entertainment complex capable of holding 15,000 people, an all-weather horse-racing track, a greyhound track, an 18-hole golf course, a heliport and parking for almost 6,000 cars.
The landscaped grounds will feature a reproduction of Lafayette Park, the seven-acre public park to the north of the White House in Washington, D.C. The “Tipperary White House” would host weddings and banquets.
Engineering feats required for realization include the diversion of two rivers and construction of a road to connect to the new Dublin-Cork M8 highway.
Independent TD Michael Lowry, who represents the district, told the Irish Times that the council’s decision is “a major step forward” and “refreshing and positive news at a time of gloom.”
Lowry estimated that about 1,000 construction workers would be employed in the three-year building phase and as many as 2,000 permanent jobs would be created by the various facilities.
The Irish national heritage organization, An Taisce, could try to appeal the decision. The group submitted a complaint to North Tipperary County Council, arguing that the development “couldn’t be more inappropriate.”
Lowry defended the project, saying that the “biggest planning application ever lodged in north Tipperary” had gone through “thorough and rigorous analysis” by officials.
Quirke acknowledged the “efforts and assistance” of Lowry, saying “this project would not have come to fruition if it were not for his time and dedication.”
Lowry said that the project would not require state aid or grants, that it had already attracted “a keen level of interest from international investors.”
Changes to the Gaming Act will be required for the casino portion of the plan. A report on a complete restructuring of Ireland’s gaming laws is expected to be published soon.