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COMMENT: Warm memories of Mosney never fade

Tuesday, 6th March, 2018 7:59am
COMMENT: Warm memories of Mosney never fade

Butlin’s at Mosney during its heyday.

COMMENT: Warm memories of Mosney never fade

Butlin’s at Mosney during its heyday.

WITH the country still recovering from last week's extreme weather event, many of us are now dreaming of jetting off to sunnier climes.

It was an ugly end to a long, dreary winter and a nasty start to spring. After the week we've just had, the idea of hanging out in a country with more predictable weather is quite appealing.

Today's generation of children are a well-travelled bunch, growing up in an era of low-cost air fares and online holiday bargains. Isn't it well for them?

Because it wasn't always thus. For Dubliners of a certain age, a holiday at Butlin’s in Mosney was as good as it got. The very mention of this popular holiday camp in County Meath never fails to bring a nostalgic tear to the eye. Any post on social media about Mosney gets a phenomenal reaction - there's even a Facebook page campaigning to having it reopened as a holiday centre!

Back in the 1970s and '80s, holidays abroad were the preserve of the rich and famous. For the rest of us, it was a mobile home in freezing Donabate or windswept Rush.

But Butlin’s was on another level completely. Even the Irish weather couldn’t dampen our spirits, with a choice of indoor and outdoor swimming pools, not to mention a beach. I remember being able to watch people swimming through large windows, as if they were part of some bizarre human aquarium.

We lived it up in the ‘luxurious’ chalets and dined out in an actual restaurant every single night; our courses delivered to the table by waiting staff carrying plates piled high on special racks with a handle at the top. 

The amusement park was like nothing else we’d ever experienced and there was even live entertainment with dodgy music to keep our parents happy. The legendary Red Coats seemed to have the best job in the world although, in hindsight, I imagine they were smiling through gritted teeth a lot of the time.

Sadly, Butlin’s is no more at Mosney; nor is it a venue for the Community Games. In more recent times it was used as a centre for refugees.

For now, we will just have to make do with the memories.

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