Trampoline park being planned for Dundalk

What the new trampoline park could look like if given the go ahead

What the new trampoline park could look like if given the go ahead

A new trampoline park could be on the way to Dundalk.

Donal and Jacqueline Rankin have applied to Louth County Council for planning permission to convert part of the ground floor (935sqm) of Unit 19 at the North Link Retail Park to a trampoline park.

As part of their application they also hope to install associated signage and carry out minor internal alterations to the unit, which is currently part-occupied by AV Direct.

If given the go ahead, the trampoline park would likely resemble the Jumpzone facilities which operate in Sandyford and Santry in Dublin.

Go ahead given for expansion of Marshes store ahead of H&M arrival


The Dorothy Perkins/Burton store in the Marshes will be converted into a H&M this summer

Plans to expand the existing Dorothy Perkins/Burton store in the Marshes Shopping Centre have been given the go ahead.

Cavalli Investments Plc have secured conditional planning permission from Louth County Council to carry out an internal reconfiguration and expansion of Units 2/3 at the centre.

This will be to accommodate a new H&M store in the centre when Dorothy Perkins and Burton close next month.

The changes involve the increase of the mezzanine floor area from 160sqm to 785sqm, resulting in an overall unit of 1,575sqm gross floor area.

A mezzanine level was previously granted planning permission in 2006 and will be implemented in the new H&M.

Old Garda Barracks at Dromad to be demolished in place of new café, deli and shop

The old Garda Barracks and Half Door Restaurant

The old Garda Barracks and Half Door Restaurant

The old Garda Barracks at Dromad is set to be demolished as part of a plan to open a new café, deli and shop close to Junction 20 of the N1 at Carrickarnon.

The old barracks was one of the busiest stations in the country during the Troubles, with the road fronting it – now by-passed by the N1 – one of the main routes across the border.

Now though Kieran Byrne has secured conditional planning permission from Louth County Council to demolish the Half Door Restaurant and and replace it with an extension to an existing building to form a café, deli and shop.

The old barracks will also be demolished as part of the plans to form an additional vehicular access point.

Also as part of the plans an existing diesel pump will be relocated and an additional single sided diesel pump added, as well as two 40,000 litre underground fuel storage tanks.

An existing store/workship will also be partly converted to form an office.

Alltech buys Ridley for €400m

Dr Pearse Lyons

Dr Pearse Lyons

US firm Alltech, which was founded by Dundalk native Pearse Lyons, has agreed to pay almost €400m to buy a Minnesota-based animal nutrition firm.

Alltech, which has interests ranging from animal nutrition, to beer and whiskey, will acquire Ridley in what Mr Lyons described as a “transformative transaction”.

Ridley is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Founded in 1980 in Lexington, Kentucky, by Mr Lyons, Alltech has evolved into a business generating $1bn (€900m) a year in sales. Mr Lyons previously worked for Irish Distillers before moving to the United States. He has estimated that the Alltech business is now worth $3bn (€2.7bn).

“This transformative transaction that combines two industry leaders allows Alltech to deliver better performance and value to livestock and poultry producers across the globe,” said Mr Lyons, who indicated earlier this year that he was looking at possible acquisitions or joint ventures to grow the business.

Ridley is one of the largest commercial animal nutrition businesses in North America and its clients include livestock producers as well as equine and pet breeders. Since 1994, it has grown substantially in the US and Canada, through the acquisition of a number of animal nutrition businesses. It also has operations in Kentucky.

Alltech is paying a 23pc premium to Ridley’s average closing share price over the last 20 days.

In its last financial year, Ridley generated revenue of $568.7m (€526m) and recorded adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $39.3m (€36.3m).

Mr Lyons said that Alltech will be able to bring its advanced nutrition technology to market “faster and more effectively” following the acquisition of Ridley.

“This combination creates a new model to deliver superior animal nutrition and tailored feeding programs supported by robust scientific research and data analytics,” he said. “This deal underscores our continued momentum in growing our business through strategic acquisitions of best-in-class companies with trusted technology and brand recognition.”

The combined company will have a presence in over 128 countries and 4,200 employees worldwide.

Alltech is wholly owned by Mr Lyons and his family and he has previously indicated that he has no intention of diluting their control over the business, despite approaches being made to buy the company.

He qualified as a biochemist from UCD before doing a PhD in Birmingham, and has retained very strong ties with Ireland.

Alltech has established a whiskey distillery in Co Carlow, and the company has been planning to build another distillery in Dublin. Last year, the company bought a disused church opposite the Guinness Hops Store, which it intends to spend €5m on to convert it to a distillery.

Alltech has also held a craft brewing festival in Dublin.

Williamson’s Mall sold at auction for €1,175,000


Williamson’s Mall in Dundalk sold at auction earlier today for €1,175,000.

The retail units, which front onto Francis Street and the Ramparts, went under the hammer at the Allsop auction in the RDS and included the sale of 23 and 8 Francis Street.

The shopping centre development is believed to have been bought by a person from the area, having sold for significantly more than its €670,000 – €730,000 reserve.

The property is arranged across two land holdings, the first main holding is Williamson’s Mall, which comprises a series of retail buildings arranged over ground and part first floors together with a surface car park

The initial retail frontage leads on to a series of warehouse units surrounding the perimeter of the car park. The units have been configured to provide retail accommodation. Incorporated within the built area is 8 Francis Street which provides 10 derelict flats.

Williamson's Mall

Williamson’s Mall

The overall site benefits from approximately 27m of frontage to Francis Street together with a further approximate 73m of frontage to Ramparts Lane.

The second holding comprises a retail building (23 Francis Street) arranged over ground and first floors, situated to the northern side of the road directly opposite to Williamson’s Mall. The total site area is approximately 0.66 hectares (1.64 acres) with the selling agents reporting that the Mall is currently generating €152,000 a year from 20 of its 24 retail units.

Conditional planning permission is also in place until December 2019 for the construction of a mixed use development on the site, known as Cathedral Walk. This was to comprise of two buildings, ranging in height from two to six storeys with a new pedestrian link and civic plaza connecting from the Ramparts Road via the pedestrian link to Francis Street.

Cathedral Walk was envisaged by Mall owners Ampezzano Ltd (now in receivership) as having retail, office and residential accommodation. They also proposed to reopen the Ramparts River over the length of the Ramparts Road fronting the development, with pedestrian and vehicular bridges across the river.

The development was to include a multi storey car park, valet area, service yard, retail units, cafe/bars, hot food take away, off license, amusement arcade, taxi/hackney office, bookmakers, offices, financial / professional services, restaurants and 43 apartments.

Meanwhile the Francis Street portion of the development was to be a five storey retail and office building with c.3,500 sq ft of retail space at ground and first floor level, with c.10,000sq ft of office space above.

The original plan was seen as important in linking the Marshes Shopping Centre with the rest of the town but a lack of funding meant that the project never proceeded beyond the planning stages.

Now though the plan may yet come to fruition following its sale.

An artist's impression of Cathedral Walk

An artist’s impression of Cathedral Walk

Russell’s Saloon opens its doors

The new staff of Russell's pictured on their opening night last night

The new staff of Russell’s pictured on their opening night last night

The renovated and rejuvenated Russell’s Saloon opened its doors last night.

The pub at 28 Park Street, also known as the Bus Stop Bar, had been closed in recent years but has been reopened and redesigned by Greg Gormley, who is well known in the local pub game from running The Castle Bar in Seatown.

Greg’s father Noel also operated Gormley’s pub, now The Punters, in Park Street for a number of years.

Russell’s Tavern first opened as a bar in 1907 and has been a constant on Park Street since then, having also operated as a travel agency for some years. Indeed, its clock – which is now back working – still remains one of the most prominent features on the street.

Be sure to pop in and check it out next time you’re out for a few drinks!

Former Toymaster store at Long Walk close to being sold

toymaster long walk

The former Toymaster store at the Long Walk is close to being sold.

The retail warehouse, which extends to almost 12,000sq ft, has gone sale agreed in recent days with Kildare-based estate agents O’Neill & Company.

The property has been idle for some time, reflecting the business in the area as it sits opposite the closed Carroll Village Shopping Centre.

The warehouse first went on the market in June 2013 and had an asking price of €250,000.

Sports clubs with bars will have to pay commercial rates this year, Minister confirms

St Patrick's GFC's centre at Pairc Eamon in Lordship - one of the clubs facing a rates bill totaling €12,500

St Patrick’s GFC’s centre at Pairc Eamon in Lordship – one of the clubs facing a rates bill totaling €12,500

All sports clubs with bars will have to pay commercial rates this year.

That’s according to Minister of State Simon Harris, who moved to clarify the situation after a number of clubs around the country received bills from their respective local authorities recently.

In Louth, both Cooley Kickhams and St Patrick’s GFC received rates bills totalling €28,500.

Clubs who rent their pitches out for other community games will not be subjected to rates providing they are not profiting from it.

An evaluation is set to be carried out on all clubs with bars in the coming months with the Minister urged to contact all clubs directly to clarify the situation to them.

Appearing on LMFM last week, St Patrick’s chairman Alan Duffy and Cooley Kickhams chairman Gerry Malone said there’s no way that local clubs can afford to make rates payments of that size.

Indeed, Mr Malone said clubs could face closure over such a bill.

End of an era as Country Stores Toymaster prepares to close


There’s probably not a parent in Dundalk of a certain age who didn’t shop there over the years but, after 31 years in business, the Country Stores Toymaster in Forkhill is set to close for good.

Located just over the border, near Murphy’s on the Carrickasticken Road, its owners Sharon and John Eveson announced at the weekend they were to retire.

The Evesons had previously operated a Toymaster in Dundalk, firstly in Clanbrassil Street from August 1991 to 2007 when they moved to the Long Walk before closing in the summer of 2008.

Their Forkhill store remained open though and it is on a nostalgic note that its closure has arrived. Its location just three miles from Dundalk made it a hugely popular place for toys, particularly in the late Eighties and Nineties before the likes of Smyth’s arrived in town. It proved particularly popular in years where the old Irish punt was worth more than sterling.

The Evesons have thanked all their customers from over the years and have announced a retirement sale, which gets underway this Tuesday at 10am. Be sure to call out to Country Stores Toymaster one last time to grab a bargain.

Lismar B&B for sale for €350,000


Lismar B&B on Stapleton Place has gone on the market with an asking price of €350,000 through local estate agents Michael Lavelle.

The terraced three storey Edwardian properties at 8 and 9 Stapleton Place currently operate as self catering and guesthouse accommodation and have both been restored and refurbished in recent years.

8 Stapleton Place consists of seven self-contained self catering units in a mix of one and two bed units while 9 Stapleton Place features nine en-suite guest bedrooms, a 15-20 seater dining room, a kitchen and office. There is also parking spaces to the rear, a house manager’s apartment, a laundry room and a separate office.

Further details can be found on