Mosney Holiday Camp first opened in 1948 as a Butlin’s Holiday Centre, the first outside the UK, and operated as such until 1982 when the camp was sold, taking on the name Mosney. Located north of Dublin in County Meath, Mosney was popular with holiday makers with people from all over Ireland spending time there during the summer. School trips to Mosney were popular, especially with schools in Dublin and surrounding counties of Meath and Louth. Families could rent out chalets or camp within the grounds of the holiday centre. There was a ballroom where redcoats put on shows on competitions, an indoor waterpark called Funtropica with all manor of rides, a playground, video arcades, shops, Don Lowry’s bar and Shakers nightclub.
As package holidays became more accessible, Mosney could no longer compete. In the mid-nineties, visitor numbers dropped and finding staff for the short 12 week season proved difficult so the decision was made to close in 2000. The Irish government leased Mosney to became an accommodation centre for asylum seekers and the well loved fairground was left abandoned as a result however some of the other amenities remain in place. There have been many rumours that the holiday centre will reopen however this has not been confirmed and Mosney’s fairground continues to lie abandoned.
The following is the history of Mosney from BygoneButlins.com -
The holiday camp in Mosney, Co. Meath opened its doors to campers in 1948. With a capacity of 2800 campers and another 4000 day visitors.
Billy Butlin brought his tried and tested holiday formula from the UK where all the other Butlin camps had proved to be such a big success with the post-war population. All of Butlin's camps were designed to the same specifications, and all had to include a boating lake, something Billy Butlin had a mild obsession about. Although the site in Mosney was smaller than its British counterparts, it still included the trade-mark chalets, huge dining hall, amusement arcade, theatre and swimming pool. Butlin's Camp Mosney also offered "A week's family holiday for a week's wages", and the company never stinted in offering achievable and affordable glamour for a mainly working-class customer.
Although an immediate success with people from all over the country, the Catholic Church went into a state of near apoplexy when the camp opened. The Catholic Standard newspaper stated quite clearly that: "Holiday camps are an English idea and are alien and undesirable in an Irish Catholic country . . . " The Irish people ignored the Church's concern for their moral welfare but Butlin, wary of how people actually used to listen to the Church back then, built a Catholic Church in his camp to pacify the hierarchy.
Butlin's sold Mosney as a going concern in 1983. In 1995 the owner signed a five year, £15 million deal, allowing the Irish government to use the former Holiday camp as a detention centre. The camp now houses asylum seekers from over 50 different countries.
Location: Mosney, Ireland
Category: Holiday Centre