Mosney Holiday Camp | Abandoned Fairground

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.

Mosney also spent a considerable amount of time as the venue of the Community Games in which children from all over the country competed in various events. The games lasted in Mosney after it was closed as a holiday camp and in 2009, they eventually moved to Athlone.

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.

Mosney also spent a considerable amount of time as the venue of the Community Games in which children from all over the country competed in various events. The games lasted in Mosney after it was closed as a holiday camp and in 2009, they eventually moved to Athlone.

There have been many rumours that the holiday centre will reopen however this has not been confirmed. UK operators such as Merlin Entertainments and Haven have been linked to the site, as well as a possible return of the Butlins brand, however none have proved to be true just yet. The attractions in the abandoned fairground were removed in 2014.

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.

BillPart of a ride now sits abandoned at Mosney Holiday Campy 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

Abandoned: 2000

Ride from the amusement park at Mosney now abandonedThe former amusement park now sits emptyThe site of The Space Round Up at MosneyAbandoned building at Mosney Holiday CampAn abandoned bench at Mosney Holiday Camp   The waltzers at the abandoned amusement park in MosneyThe Space Round Up is missing its yellow disk

20 thoughts on “Mosney Holiday Camp | Abandoned Fairground

  • August 31, 2012 at 2:20 am
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    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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  • August 31, 2012 at 2:32 am
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    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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  • August 31, 2012 at 11:05 am
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    They should consider it. It'd be great for tourism!

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  • January 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm
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    Borne leisure broght mosney camp so hopefully a butlinsvcould come

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  • January 13, 2013 at 5:17 pm
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    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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  • January 15, 2013 at 11:26 am
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    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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  • April 6, 2013 at 2:12 am
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    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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  • January 22, 2014 at 10:38 pm
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    Minimum wage in Ireland makes Mosney unviable. Live in rate in the mid 90s was about 60p an hour

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  • March 10, 2014 at 9:48 pm
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    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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  • May 1, 2014 at 2:52 am
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    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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  • May 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm
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    Sorry! Should have mentioned that! Must relook at Mosney again. If you have any info send it on!

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  • February 7, 2016 at 12:09 pm
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    I went to Butlins for years as a child and brought my two sons when they were young for the day, but drove down yesterday so see what it was like brought back a lot of really lovely memories but couldn't gain access to the site itself, world love to see it reopen.

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  • July 13, 2016 at 4:59 pm
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    As a youngester my folks would take us there for the week over the 12th of July as we were from the north it kept us away from all the troubles that use to go on and to make it even better all my aunties and uncles book in with there kids. I have so many great memories of this place. Loved it so much running around all day with family and what ever friends u got to met down there. Such a waist would have loved to have took my own kids

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  • July 24, 2016 at 4:43 pm
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    Passed by it yesterday before I saw the photos attached I shuddered the thought of what it looked likes now (torn beaten and broke��) Its a huge shame its gone it was the best place in the world when we where kids in the 80's and 90's. I wish someone could see its potential refurb and revamp the place and open it back up. Me and the hubby were reminiscing last night and I'd love to have taken our kids to.

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  • August 9, 2016 at 7:59 pm
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    Drove out there today. Still housing asylum seekers. Was denied access to take photos unfortunately. Loved the place. Community games continued until 2009 and it houses a car show each summer

    Reply

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