Fears over slot machine arcade in Athy

Plans for a gaming and amusement arcade on Leinster Street, Athy, have been hotly criticised by the town council’s chairman Cllr Richard Daly.

Plans for a gaming and amusement arcade on Leinster Street, Athy, have been hotly criticised by the town council’s chairman Cllr Richard Daly.

Last week Cork-based Coalquay Leisure Ltd applied for planning permission to convert the former Hibernian Bank on 46 Leinster Street Athy into a gaming and amusement arcade. The building itself is a protected structure.

Cllr Daly, who is also the principal of Athy Community College, said that Athy Town Council has a policy whereby it is not in favour of gaming machines.

“Amusement arcades can have a very strong effect on family incomes. Over the years Athy Town Council has maintained that policy, so we would need an awful lot of convincing for such an arcade to go ahead. Of course any person is entitled to apply for planning permission and that should be upheld. Hopefully the planners will take our recommendations on board,” he said.

“I would personally be opposed, as a parent, politician and principal. The culture of gaming can be very dangerous. We have a National Lottery and an abundance of bookies in the town that takes care of that need already,” he added.

The planning file is currently with Athy Town Council and submissions in relation to the application need to be in within five weeks.

Coalquay Leisure Ltd could not be contacted at time of going to press.