Tayto Park to build €14 million steel roller-coaster

New attraction will ‘copper-fasten the future’ of the venue, says owner

Ireland's largest theme park, Tayto Park, is to lodge a planning application for its biggest attraction to date, an "iconic" €14 million steel roller-coaster.

Tayto Park owner Ray Coyle said the new roller-coaster will be the same height as the park's 32 metre high Cú Chulainn but will be 400 metres longer than the 1,082m long Cú Chulainn ride.

Mr Coyle said the new roller-coaster “will copper-fasten the future of Tayto Park”.

He said: "The new roller-coaster will be two roller-coasters in one. It will be a first for Europe and ensure the future of the park. If you don't create something landmark every three of four years, your numbers will start going down and that is the road to closure."


Mr Coyle said that the plans for the roller-coaster will be lodged with Meath County Council next week.

Mr Coyle said that the aim is to secure planning in 2019, build the roller-coaster in 2020 and open it to the public in 2021.

He confirmed that the cost of the roller-coaster will be €14 million. The ride will be able to accommodate 1,200 passengers per hour compared to the Cú Chulainn carrying 1,000 passengers per hour.

Mr Coyle was commenting as new accounts for Tayto Park show it recorded an 8 per cent rise in pre-tax profits last year to €3.65m.

This followed revenues increasing by 5 per cent to €17.533m — or an average of €92,770 a day for each of the 189 days Tayto Park was open last year.

Mr Coyle confirmed that 720,000 visitors came to Tayto Park last year and this year numbers will increase by around 3-4 per cent.

Mr Coyle said that Tayto Park’s Earnings Before Interest Depreciation Tax and Amortisation (EBITDA) are €7m for last year.

Mr Coyle said that he was “delighted” with the performance of Tayto Park in 2017 and 2018.

Mr Coyle opened Tayto Park “in a field in Co Meath” in October 2010. He said: “Nobody came for six months. I thought we would have to close it down but in the Easter of 2011 people started to come. You learn as you go along.”

HE said the crowds coming to the park in 2018 will be the highest to date. “Word of mouth is how most people come to Tayto Park — it accounts for around 60 per cent.”

He said the park has been adding incrementally to its attractions each year. The company’s assets had a book value of €33.48m at the end of last year.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times