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Mosney

Mosney, (Irish: Maigh MuirĂ­) in County Meath, Ireland, is situated approximately 48 km (30 mi) from Dublin. It is probably best-known as the site of a Butlins holiday camp in the second half of the 20th century and as the site for the National Finals of the Community Games. By the early 21st-century, this had been converted into an accommodation centre for asylum-seekers.

Mosney railway station closed down in 2000.

Contents

History

Butlins Mosney

Mosney was the first Butlins camp outside the UK. The camp opened in 1948, occupying some 200 acres of a former country estate. The camp was also differed slightly that it was aimed more at young couples as opposed to families.

At its peak the site could accommodate some 2,800 campers and 4,000 day visitors. It became a major holiday destination for Irish families, especially those from Dublin. It is said that 8 out of 10 Irish families have had some kind of contact with the camp.

Mosney Holiday Centre

In 1982, Butlins sold the camp and was renamed Mosney Holiday Centre. Life continued pretty much the same. Every year more than 6,000 children from around the country travelled to Mosney to take part in the community games. This hugely popular event had been held in Mosney for 25 years. Mosney was the only location in Ireland had the required 2,500 beds. Each June, the Lion Club took over the centre and provided much needed holidays for 1,200 local people. The last season for Mosney was 2000. Dwindling visitor numbers and problems finding staff for the short 12-week eventually led to the camp's downfall.

Mosney Refugee Centre

In December 2000, a five year deal was signed with the government to turn Mosney into a refugee centre. The mayor of Drogheda was reported to be "incensed" and the local council feared it would become a "ghetto". Mosney is now home to 700 refugees from over 20 different countries. Most of the old attractions have been mothballed, but recreation facilities still included a football arena, table tennis and a supervised play area. Some of the current residents describe it as a luxury prison. There is a 2007 documentary called "Seaview" featuring interviews with asylum seekers and staff from the camp.

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