By Sean Moriarty
Bingo players in Killarney have been told that they need to find a new home after Conroy Hall on the Park Road was forced to close this week due to health and safety concerns.
The popular venue, which is owned by trade union SIPTU, was also closed earlier this summer following concerns over fire and safety regulations.
The venue reopened last Sunday night – but punters were told by bingo organisers that SIPTU has advised them that the venue would have close again – this time indefinitely.
Conroy Hall is one of the most popular bingo halls in the county due to the larger than usual prize money on offer. Some Sunday night games at the venue offer jackpots of over €1000.
Regulars estimate that close to 1000 players attend every Sunday and that they travel from as far away as Dingle and Blarney to play. The venue is also popular with tourists.
Aghadoe woman Maureen McCormick has been going to Conroy Hall bingo for 25 years.
“There is bingo in Killorglin every Sunday night but there would not be room for all of us and the prize money is much better in Killarney,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “I started going when I gave up the cigarettes, I was not allowed smoke in there. We have nowhere to go. Maybe the Great Southern Hotel, they don’t have weddings on a Sunday, or maybe look at somewhere out of town like Fossa Community Hall.”
SIPTU was contacted by the Killarney Advertiser but did not respond to calls ahead of going to print last night (Thursday). However, it is understood that the trade union closed the building to allow it time to carry out repair work and make building safe again.