Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.09 1 Dec 2020


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The fairground attraction of Funderland has said its future viability is 'under serious threat', as it stays closed this Christmas.

The seasonal event at the RDS is not opening due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus restrictions.

The Bird family, who are the promoters of Funderland, say it is a part of Dublin's heritage - particularly at Christmas - for over 50 years.

The attraction employs over 100 people at the four annual Funderland events in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Belfast - which have all been cancelled in 2020.

The company has been told that it is not eligible for State aid under the current COVID-19 support mechanisms.

It says without the financial wherewithal to offset the mounting costs, recovery into 2021 will be "a gargantuan challenge."

"Funderland, like many other regulated businesses, is struggling to continue to cover the costs associated with insurance, rent, storage, contractual obligations, administration overheads, loan repayments and utilities", it says in a statement.

Funderland
Funderland is seen at Dublin's RDS in 2009. Picture by: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Director of Funderland, Don Bird, says as an Irish owned family-run business it has been "devastating" to not be able to open for the year.

"Funderland must continue to absorb the costs of maintaining attractions, certifying and insuring them, implementing new COVID procedures and plans, training staff and absorbing huge costs with no income and no prospect of reopening on the horizon.

"We had lived in the hope that we would stage a potentially year-saving event in Dublin this Christmas.

"Unfortunately, it is just not possible for Funderland to go ahead under the current circumstances."

He added: "We are asking the Government not to neglect us and others in our industry as we anxiously await the development of a vaccine and the potential easing of restrictions that will permit us to entertain our customers as soon as it is safe to do so."

"The Taoiseach, his ministers and his partners in Government were children once and many of them have children and families of their own.

"They must surely understand how important our industry is when it comes to creating fun memories and happy times for people of all ages."

Main image: Funderland is seen at Dublin's RDS in 2014. Picture by: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

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Belfast Bird Family Cork Coronavirus Restrictions Don Bird Dublin Funderland Limerick RDS Seasonal Event

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