RETAIL giant Tesco Ireland has failed in its bid to open a store in the only county currently without one of its outlets.
Frustrated county councillors have voted against rezoning a plot of land in Kilkenny which would have given Tesco a presence in every county in the State.
A number of councillors voted against a material contravention to their county development plan in protest after officials refused to allow a debate on the issue at a recent council meeting.
A planning application by Tesco Ireland for a large store outside Callan, Co Kilkenny, which would have created 100 jobs, has now been withdrawn and the company says it is reviewing its options with regard to Kilkenny.
The vote, which was expected to be carried unanimously, was rejected after councillors failed to return a three-quarters majority in favour of rezoning for the store.
The process was thrown into further disarray after three councillors went missing from the meeting as the vote was being held.
Two councillors abstained after Green Party councillor Malcolm Noonan was refused an open debate on the Tesco proposal.
Mr Noonan claimed he was not allowed to give his opinion on the issue and voted against rezoning the land at Callan on "ideological grounds".
"'This is about protecting the core of rural communities," said Mr Noonan.
wA spokesperson for Tesco Ireland told the Irish Independent: "We are reviewing our options with regard to Callan and Kilkenny".
It is expected that a fresh application by Tesco Ireland will come before the council in the coming months.
© Irish Independent