Future of 'Christmas Kingdom' in Malahide hanging in balance
The future of the Christmas Kingdom event scheduled for Malahide hung in the balance last night.
Residents of Marina Village, where the festive fair was to take place, expressed delight when officials from Fingal Council said the event would be moved elsewhere because of the opposition of residents.
Event organiser Andre Jenkinson said later he had found a new location. But the decision to abandon the Malahide site could yet be reversed following intense lobbying yesterday.
Residents who protested against the Christmas Kingdom fair and ice-rink being installed on the green area of the Marina Village believed they had won a victory yesterday when informed the fair would be relocated elsewhere.
Independent Cllr Jimmy Guerin told the Herald last night a large number of people contacted the council yesterday afternoon demanding that the Christmas Kingdom be retained on the green.
Cllr Guerin claimed a meeting at the local Grand Hotel yesterday morning between council officials, event organisers and around 70 residents living in the immediate vicinity of the planned fair was "unrepresentative" of the wider Malahide community.
"I was one of only four people who voted to retain it in its current location," he said.
The vast majority voted for moving the fair out of the area because of fears of traffic congestion, parking problems and anti-social behaviour.
A number of residents spoke to Joe Duffy on the Radio One Liveline programme yesterday to express their relief the fair was being moved.
Threats of legal action had been made by residents who were angry that the council had failed to consult with local residents before granting permission.
The event was to host an ice-rink, amusements and an hour-long Santa experience and was expected to draw thousands of people to the area throughout the Christmas period.
Structures for the fair have already been built on the green.
Cllr Guerin told the programme that moving the event would incur some losses by Mr Jenkinson, the organiser of Christmas Kingdom, which may have to be covered by Fingal County Council with the use of taxpayers' funds.
The local chamber of commerce had been very anxious for the fair to take place in Malahide to bring a much-needed economic boost to the area, he said.
Howth/Malahide council members at a local meeting had expressed their approval two weeks ago that the fair be held on the local green even though residents had not been consulted.