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Full Steam Ahead for the Fry?

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Dunno where they are getting the 'largest in europe' moniker, at 2500 feet - that includes all the empty space around it... I think Miniatur Wunderland will have a thing to say :)


That said, there is no detail about who will operate it, how it will be run, will it be a new layout? New Stock? Anyone hear anything?>

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Casino House is too small to run the Fry Model railway that ran in Malahide Castle,

It may be used to house the original Fry models that were displayed in the purpose built building at Malahide Castle but would not be capable of housing the running model.

As it is an O Gauge layout I do not see any MM models running on it any time soon.



The Fry Model Railway

The Fry Model Railway is a large (2,500 sq ft.) working miniature rail display, initially constructed in the 1920s-1930s. The railway includes models of stations, landmarks, locations and Irish landscapes from throughout the 20th century.


In 1976 The Fry Model Railway Collection was bought by Dublin Tourisim from the late Cyril Fry's widow. During the early 1980's the collection was overhauled and a new layout built at Inchicore Works by retired CIE craftsman, Tommy Tighe. The collection was eventually relocated to Malahide Castle and opened to the public in July 1988. The Railway was a great success, and became a well loved local treasure, until it's closure in 2010 due to funding and the redevelopment project at Malahde castle. It has been decided that the Fry Model Railway will be housed in the stunning Casino House.


If the return of the Fry Model Railway to Malahide which was its home for years is not cause for celebration enough, what makes this development even better is that it protects a very important building in Malahide which has remained vacant for a number of years and fallen into dis-repair. The decision to rehouse the Fry Model Railway to Malahide ensures the restoration of the Casino building to its former glory, and the 1.9 acres around it as well as the walled gardens. The project will now include the addition of a coffee shop which will create an extra six to eight jobs adjacent to Malahide train station.

The Casino

The Casino was probably the most photographed house in the country. Built in the late 17th Century it was originally a shooting lodge for the Talbot Family (of Malahide Castle). Vacant since 2004, it's future had become a cause of concern for the locals, as what was once a beautiful thatched cottage, slowly fell into disrepair and seemly left to the mercy of vandals. This has all changed now that it's purchase has been confirmed for the purpose of rehousing the Fry Model Railway.

Enjoy Malahide have been campaigning on behalf of the Casino for a number of years, and in June 2011 in an impassioned plea to Fingal County Council, An Taisce, Dublin Tourism and the Heritage Council, we asked "Is there any purpose to which this jewel of a building could be put for the people and community of Malahide? Almost 40 years ago the bold and enlightened decision was taken to acquire Malahide Castle and its grounds from the Talbot family. It was an investment that has yielded extraordinary benefits to the community." We are now so glad to finally see such a wonderful resolution to this story, it's something that will be treasured for many many years to come and we must give recognition to the extremely hard work of Gerry Rafferty of Malahide Tidy Towns, to local TD Alan Farrell, and special thanks to Senator Darragh O'Brien who we were in correspondence with on almost a weekly basis throughout the process.

Casino Lodge is still in reasonable condition and will lend itself to full restoration. The intention is to retain all the historic features as well as the thatch and to restore the lodge and its curtilage.

Project Development Overview

The project will have four major components:

The construction of a new museum building to house the Fry Model Collection and other children’s and educational displays, a shop and visitor toilets;

The restoration, preservation and conservation of the historic Casino Lodge thatched building;

The professional conservation of the Fry models, the upgrading of the presentation, and particularly the interpretation of the Fry Collection and the layout;

The treatment of the site as a heritage, educational and recreational amenity for the community of Malahide.

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As you know Minister, we've been here before

One of the conditions on the 1.5mill is that it is spent on this project

If it is not they lose the lot, but it will take around 1 mill to put Casino House back in order,

Planning permission has to be sought and obtained if they are going to build somewhere to run the Fry

Maybe not in our lifetimes.....

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there is more of a chance of my son passing the leaving cert than this happening!......when health and safety gets their hooks in - it will cost a dam site more than 1.5. bty thanks renn - forgot that it is 0


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Take the Public Account Committee approach and cut to the chase:


Who owns the Fry Collection?

Are this group Public or Private?

Who is the board or singular head representative of ownership of the collection?

Where do they want it?

Have they finalised a decision for it's location?

If not why?

If yes, are they progressing?

If not why-what are the reasons for the delay? (planning, location availability, lobbying, funding, political pressure at local, council, or national level?)

Who are the interested parties pushing for one location or another?

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Who owns the Fry Collection:

Dublin Tourism



Not quite. "In 2012, Dublin Tourism merged with Fáilte Ireland"



So, I would think queries about the Fry Collections ownership and proposed future should be addressed to Shaun Quinn, Fáilte Ireland's current CEO.



See this link for comments about the suitability of the Casino area and funding.


Edited by Weshty
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Somewhat worrying post from 'Sheldrake' over there:



We have commissioned a feasibility study from an expert in the world of finance on the future prospects of the Malahide project. It makes for interesting reading, and is accompanied by actual projected revenue and expense streams. I won't post those for obvious reasons, but they are available to serious players if required.


The executive summary is hereunder:


1. During 22 years at Malahide Castle, the museum was not viable as a stand-alone operation. Direct income exceeded direct expenses but a notional net loss was incurred after absorbing cost of administrative support from Dublin Tourism and 7/24 security provided by Fingal Council.


2. Casino site is not fit for purpose. Existing building is entirely unsuitable. A minimum 10,000 sq ft new building will be needed to house static museum and working railway, and to satisfy health & safety. Grounds are too small to provide adequate car and coach parking, plus complementary landscaping. Access problems from busy main road. Existing traffic congestion in nearby Malahide village.


3. Facility will constitute a radical change of use for location, implying community resistance. Planning/ NIMBY-type objections may result in costly delays during pre-commissioning phase.


4. Assuming project commences first quarter 2013 and there is no undue delay, commissioning would be unlikely before 2016. Capital cost estimated at € 2.3 million. Delay beyond 2016 will result in escalating holding costs.


5. Gaffney bequest to fund Casino project is €1.5 million. Opening by end 2016 will incur a minimum capital shortfall of €800,000.


6. For income projections, a target figure of 75,000 visitors pa has been projected. Note this is believed to be 3/ 4 times average annual numbers in years 1988-2010. Projections include a discount factor to recognise customer resistance at higher ticket price levels.


7. Projected operating budget shows annual trading losses of € 330,000 to 400,000. Note that this result may be impervious to additional promotional support ie increased advertising cost would offset increased revenue implying market saturation.


Circulate at will.

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Yup, not encouraging at all. In summary:


Despite the €1.5m (still leaving a €1m shortfall), the Casino is a very round hole for a very square peg.

75,000 visitors to ensure viability. That's an average of 40 per hour six hours a day, six days a week. Malahide is just too out o fthe way for that footfall.

Busaras is far more central, with less capital cost, less planning obstacles and a more deliverable audience (bus, tram, city centre parking etc.).

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