A massive wooden roller coaster, which will be the second biggest in Europe, will be part of a €25 million expansion at Tayto Park planned for 2015.
The park’s owner, Ray Coyle, has confirmed that he will be lodging a planning application with Meath County Council shortly for a massive extension to the park near Ashbourne, which attracted almost half a million visitors last year.
The roller coaster alone will cost €8.5 million and will be a centrepiece of a development which will include new rides, a new entrance and additional parking and facilities.
The new development is expected to increase the workforce to 550 at peak times from the 220 which were employed there last summer.
The roller coaster will be the second biggest in Europe in terms of speed and length. “It will be 1.4km long, and 32 metres at its highest point, have a top speed of 105km/h and it will be able to take 700 people an hour,” he added.
There will be two trains on the attraction, each of them with 12 seats, and 25 per cent of the ride will involve travelling through loops.
The wooden ride, which will take up about 2.8 acres, has to be built specially in the United States to suit the site. The only roller coaster with bigger dimensions in Europe is at Europa Park in south-western Germany. The new Meath rollercoaster will be one of the 10 largest in the world.
Mr Coyle said that if planning permission is granted, he expects the new extension to be open for business in spring of 2015.