GR8 – A New Way of Entertainment

May 11, 2010

by Brónagh Murphy

A new multi-million pound ‘family fun complex’ in Castleblayney is being heralded as the pinnacle of modern entertainment and will lead to the creation of twenty new jobs in the town.

The brainchild of local entrepreneur, Padraig Watters, the ‘GR8’ Entertainment Centre is set over three storeys and extends to an impressive 20,000 square feet.  Housing the latest in leisure activities for all ages, it aims to cater for the entire border region of counties Monaghan, Cavan, Louth and Armagh.

Formerly known as Blayney Bowl, the Monaghan Road premises has recently benefitted from a huge extension and refurbishment programme and represents an overall investment in the region of E2 million.   Now aptly named ‘GR8’ Entertainment Centre, it will officially open its doors to the public this weekend.

‘GR8’ is a text-speak reference to the eight leisure activities on offer in the complex: ten pin bowling, soft play areas to suit all ages, an astro turf soccer pitch, safe-skill adventure climbing, Formula One racing track, an extensive array of virtual and interactive games, private party areas and a 100-seater restaurant.

The ultra-modern premises boasts specifically and professionally designed play areas and activities, catering for all ages, and its ‘all-in-one’ location is ideal for modern family entertainment.


GR8 offers an comprehensive programme for parties and gatherings to suit all ages and tastes.  From school or youth club outings to family get-togethers or fun time with grandparents, all individuals and groups can be catered for.  Generous discounts are also available for larger groups.

The perfect place for children’s parties, the centre’s extensive programme can be adapted to suit all customers and budgets and boasts three private party rooms.

The astro turf pitch is perfect for five-a-side football tournaments while the soft play and climbing frame areas are suitable for all ages from tots to teens.

It is anticipated that the exciting Formula One racing track will prove a big hit with customers as the karts are suitable for use by both small children and adults alike.

The specially designed catering area offers the popular Starbucks Coffee along with a broad menu of meals and light refreshments.

The entire complex can cater for up to 300 customers at any one time and all areas are fully accessible for less-abled patrons.


The opening of the new complex has been welcomed by local town councillor, Aidan Campbell.  Mr Campbell is the chairperson of Castleblayney Community Enterprise Ltd and he praised the vision and commitment of Mr Watters in bringing this ambitious project to fruition.

“This complex is a great credit to Padraig Watters and will bring some much-needed employment to Castleblayney,” he said.

“During his time as chairperson of Castleblayney Community Enterprise, Mr Watters initiated the construction of the factory in the town, which has developed into a very viable business and provides employment to over 100 people.

“It is great to see his work is continuing to benefit employment in Castleblayney with the opening of his new venture, GR8 Entertainment, and we wish him every success.”

Castleblayney man, Dermot McArdle, is responsible for the day-to-day running of the centre.  A renowned footballer for his club and county, Mr McArdle has worked in the premises for several years and has first hand experience of what customers really want.

“People will be amazed to see the transformation of the building with its modern and state-of-the-art facilities,” he said.

“What we have on offer here at GR8 is unique in that no other complex offers the extensive range of games and leisure activities all under the one roof.

“We aim to go the extra mile for our customers and look forward to catering for people of all ages.”

GR8 Entertainment complex is open from 10.00am until late seven days a week.

For information on facilities or bookings, contact Dermot McArdle on 00353 42 9749955.