Official says public agrees Tramore is on road to `tacky Irish Ibiza'

 

A Tramore politician who claimed the town was in danger of becoming "a tacky Irish Ibiza" says he has received numerous calls of support from the public.

Mr Michael Flynn, a Progressive Democrats member of Tramore Town Commission, says parents of teenagers should be "shaking in their shoes" at the prospect of a major new dance and entertainment venue opening in October.

The former Celtworld building, which has been vacant since 1998, is licensed to hold up to 2,200 patrons. Many of them, Mr Flynn claims, will be young people attending "rave"-style discos. "I'm told `rave' is an old-fashioned word, but it is intended to have the modern version of it there on a regular basis.

"They will be bussing up to 2,000 young people into Tramore from wherever they can find them and then in the early hours of the morning they will be let loose. Where do they go then? Tramore has always been promoted as a location for families, and rave or dance music doesn't fit with that. That's why I'm making the connection with Ibiza."

The owner of Celtworld, Ambient Catering Ltd, strongly rejected Mr Flynn's claims. The company's directors are Mr Vince Power, head of the Mean Fiddler organisation and a native of Tramore, Mr Paul Jackman, Mr Mick O'Keeffe and Mr John Reynolds of the PoD night-club in Dublin.

The 30,000 sq ft building will be "a top-class entertainment venue" and will be used to bring leading national and international acts to the town, they said. "Our goal is to develop a facility where the programme of events in any given week or month will hold something of interest to almost every age group."

"The primary focus will be on music with bands and DJs of national and international standing currently being lined up to play in Tramore, but well-known cabaret and comedy acts can also be expected to perform there while next summer will see a particular concentration on family entertainment.

"One wonders if we were planning only to bring in acts aimed at middle-aged and elderly people would we be in the firing-line for not providing entertainment for the youth of Tramore, many of whom currently travel to Waterford and indeed Dublin for their nights out?"

Mr Flynn says that since he first made his comments about the plans for Celtworld and also criticised the organisers of a recent car show which attracted a large number of "boy racers" to Tramore, he had received many messages of support. "A lot of people have said I appear to be a lone voice but have told me I'm right and asked me to keep going," he said.