13 May 2012

Mosney Holiday Camp | Abandoned Fairground

MosneyMosney 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.

Mosney Holiday Centre

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.

Mosney AbandonedAlthough 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

Abandoned: 2000

Butlins Mosney Abandoned MosneyMosney Holiday CampMosney fairgroundMosney todayMosney derelictAbandoned butlins

14 comments :

  1. Great read. It's an awful shame that it ever closed down. There's been passing rumours that it could reopen - but let's not hold our breath.

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  2. I've also heard similar rumblings. Apparantly the government no longer need it as an asylum centre and the lease will not be renewed. I heard interest from the Birds who run Funderland about being involved

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  3. They should consider it. It'd be great for tourism!

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  4. Borne leisure broght mosney camp so hopefully a butlinsvcould come

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    1. I wasn't aware of that! Sounds promising!

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    2. if they did reopen it would boost the tourism market dedo we would Get visitors witch would mean people spending Money in ireland só ireland be making money for a change

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    3. I think they could do a lot with the place! Hopefully it re-opens

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  5. It will do the Irish economy good and it will get more people
    into work so lets hope it is true about mosney reopens once again

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    1. I think a lot of people would like to visit again, especially those of us with fond memories of summers there

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  6. Minimum wage in Ireland makes Mosney unviable. Live in rate in the mid 90s was about 60p an hour

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  7. I was a redcoat there in the mid 90's and made about 15 pounds a day which was usually spent before I ever got it,ahh good times

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  8. And not a mention, not one in the article of how it was used for the Community Games!? Not sure how many years it was used for same but it defo was back in the 90s.

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    1. Sorry! Should have mentioned that! Must relook at Mosney again. If you have any info send it on!

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