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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Tara Ballroom demolition gets go-ahead

Ciarán Fahey

The old Tara Ballroom, in Courtown, is to be demolished to make way for shops and apartments, after Wexford County Council gave the green light for it to be knocked down.

The landmark building’s owner, Francis Dooley, was granted permission on Friday to demolish what is now The Beacon nightclub and replace it with a development ranging from two to five stories, and containing 34 apartments and nine shops. One of the shops will be a 1,125 square metre supermarket.

The whole nightclub will now be demolished, along with the fast food restaurant and part of the pub beside it, The DB, to make way for the new development.

When The Echo first broke the news in August that Mr. Dooley wanted to tear down the former ballroom and replace it with the new development, many people reacted with a touch of sadness as they recalled its glory days when it played host to many visiting showbands.

Testament to the affection in which it is still held by many people, is the reaction, received by this newspaper, to an article on its history which was published in The Echo in September.

Speaking to The Echo yesterday, Francis Dooley said he was happy to get the decision from the county council. He said the development would not be started for “some time” yet.

He was unsympathetic to those who would oppose the building’s destruction saying that it was progress, and that it would breath new life into Courtown.

“It’s dead at the moment,” he pointed out, before adding: “Everybody is condemning the place for years, and now that it is condemned people want to bring it back. You can’t win.”

The Tara Ballroom building will now make way, as will part of the take away and the pub beside it, for 34 apartments, (three one-bedroom, 20 two-bedroom and 11 three-bedroom), nine new retail units including the 1,125 square metre convenience store, and a basement car park.

The fast food restaurant will be moved to the western end of the site.

Conroy, Crowe and Kelly, of 65, Merrion Square, Dublin 2, are the architects looking after the project.



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