Portlaoise card club is ‘shebeen’ claim objectors

A ‘vigorous objection’ has been lodged against a Portlaoise club’s application for all-night opening,by neighbours who say they cannot sleep for the noise of “drunken clients” .

A ‘vigorous objection’ has been lodged against a Portlaoise club’s application for all-night opening,by neighbours who say they cannot sleep for the noise of “drunken clients” .

Members of Caesar’s Portlaoise Card Club are “urinating, shouting, fighting, littering, throwing beer cans” in front of residents’ homes on Railway Street, from 2.30am onwards, claim the residents.

The submission to Laois County Council is from Shane Hegarty of 1 Railway Street, and Michael, Martin and Betty Kavanagh from the street.

They want proper enforcement of existing opening hours and a ‘free alcohol deal’.

“Crowds of up to 40 people can congregate outside the club after pub/nightclub closing times, yelling drunkenly into the intercom to the club, making sleep completely impossible,” the residents said.

“As alcohol is provided ‘free’, it has become more of a shebeen drinking club than a card club; patrons are even noisier and more disruptive when leaving than going in,” they add.

They say the club is too close to their homes, the nearest being 18 metres from the intercom, and that customers and staff park in front of their entrances until morning.

Increased late-night footfall and taxis on the one-way street “makes the noise a lot worse”, they say.

“The outside of our houses is used like a taxi rank after 2.30am. The noise and disturbance goes on at weekends until 8am,” the residents claim.

Caesar’s Portlaoise Card Club is asking for retention planning permission from Laois County Council to open from midnight until 7am, to “put right” what already goes on in there, in the words of manager Vincent King.

The private members gaming club is above Ryan’s Pub on 34 Main Street/Railway Street, and was granted permission in 2009 to open from 12 midnight until 2am.

Permission is also being sought to retain a neon sign at the entrance to the private members club. The sign was erected in 2009 but was vandalised and is not working.

A planning decision is due on June 30.