Hector goes to battle with Ben Dunne over rival gym plan

Gym wars: Hector Ó hEochagáin and business rival Ben Dunne.

Millionaire businessman Ben Dunne is set to go head-to-head with broadcaster Hector Ó hEochagáin – by setting up a rival fitness centre just doors away in Briarhill.

Hector – who has his own gym in the same business park – has warned planners that a fitness centre will lead to road safety issues, indiscriminate parking and “serious” noise nuisance.

Ben Dunne Fitness Ireland Ltd – which operates a chain of cut-price gyms in Ireland and England – will find out in a matter of days if planners in Galway City Council have approved his application to use three units at Briarhill Business Park as a major new gym and fitness centre.

He has applied for a change of use on Units 28, 29, 30 from office use to a gym and leisure facility, pointing out that the ‘CI’ (Commercial and Industrial) zoning permits it.

However, Hector has objected – he set up his own gym, The Body Works, last year at Unit 62 in the same business park.

Under his real name Seán Ó hEochagáin (Shane Keogan), along with his home address in Claregalway, Hector told planners that the City Development Plan objectives do not automatically infer that planning permission should be granted.

He added that a gym would lead to increased traffic load, indiscriminate parking and a serious noise nuisance.

For more on this story, and the details of Hector’s objection, see this week’s Galway City Tribune