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Irish News

Crosbie disappointed at being left out of concert venue project



Harry Crosbie. Picture: Arthur Carron
Gallery 1
Harry Crosbie. Picture: Arthur Carron

Dublin developer Harry Crosbie has expressed his disappointment after being left out of a submission made by a Wexford-based construction company to Wexford County Council regarding the future development at Gorey's Market House and adjoining lands.

Crosbie, who had come up with a plan for a 1,500-seater venue in the south-east region, believed a deal was done between all interested parties, including Tommy and Paddy Redmond of Redmond Construction Ltd, for pursuing the design, build and operation contract.

"I've been working on the Vicar Street South project now for five years trying to get it done," said Crosbie.

"In the last two months, I was introduced to the Redmond brothers. We agreed that we would work and do this together, and we would put in one single application for the job.

"I met with them a couple of times with Michael D'Arcy when he was TD, who brokered the deal between us. We decided that we would operate as a team.

"The basis of that deal was that they would build it, and that I would run it on a 21-year-lease with the Dublin expertise and the team of Aiken promotions behind me. Part of that deal was that 100 days a year would be made available for community use for the people of Wexford."

The Sunday Independent reported in January that the project had finally secured funding with construction to begin in spring, according to Minister of State at the Department of Finance Michael D'Arcy.

Speaking last week Crosbie said he wrote to the Redmonds on a number of occasions asking them to confirm the deal done previously in writing but received no answer.

"About two-and-a-half weeks ago it became obvious that something was wrong. I tried one last time to get the Redmonds but they had gone to ground, so I decided to go back to the original scheme and put in our own submission, which was nearly ready anyway."

Crosbie said that whoever gets the go-ahead from Wexford County Council, it was important that diary bookings were made sooner rather than later.

"We need to open a diary soon, there's no point opening a venue without product. All these diaries of the big travelling shows work a year ahead, so if the venue is going to open in the middle of next year, which we would be able to do, we'd need to be booking stuff now this year."

Paddy Redmond, of Redmond Construction Ltd, said last week that Live Nation, an American entertainment and music promotion company that bought the 3Arena in 2013 for €35m from Nama after it was sold as part of the receivership of loans connected with properties formerly owned by Harry Crosbie, had shown interest in the Gorey project.

"No deal is done with Live Nation, and we had no deal done with Wexford County Council or Harry Crosbie before the submission was made.

"We wish Harry the best of luck with his application, but as we said, no deal can be done, finalised or brokered until the tender is accepted or not.

"We put in a strong submission so we hope that our proposal is accepted, but at the end of the day it's up to the council and the councillors on what they decide.

"But in the future we hope to sit down around the table with whoever gets the tender, whether it's us or not, so that a deal can be thrashed out."

Redmond said the company hoped to talk to Harry Crosbie and others at that stage in the future, and again reiterated that they were not ruling out Harry Crosbie.

Sunday Independent

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