Monday 24 July 2017

Malahide residents furious at ‘Christmas Kingdom’ takeover in residential area

Rosanna Davison at the launch of Christmas Kingdom
Rosanna Davison at the launch of Christmas Kingdom
Rosanna Davison at the launch of Christmas Kingdom
The scene in Malahide
The building in Malahide
The building in Malahide
The building work in Malahide
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

Residents of Marina Village in Malahide have been angered by the erection of a ‘Christmas Kingdom’, which has limited local access to a green in the area.

Malahide locals fear that the commercial Christmas event will draw traffic chaos and anti-social behaviour to the area throughout its six week run.

The building work in Malahide
The building work in Malahide

Speaking on RTE One’s Live Line Marina Villiage resident Caitriona Walsh revealed that locals were not involved in the decision to locate Christmas Kingdom on the green.

“The first we heard of it was when it was put on the green in Malahide. Since then we can’t access the green and it’s been shut off the community,” said Caitriona.

Christmas Kingdom Malahide
Christmas Kingdom Malahide

“It’s starting now and it will continue until January.

“The grass and everything is destroyed. It could be February or March until we can use it again,” she said.

The building in Malahide
The building in Malahide

The event will host amusements, an ice-rink and an hour long Santa experience but residents fear it will bring volumes of people to the village and cause traffic congestion throughout the festive period.

Marina Village resident Paula Baldwin said: “I live in the Marina Village and there’s a lot of people old and elderly who are worried about crime and the volume of people this will bring into the area.

“Parking for ordinary people to do a bit of shopping is difficult enough but can you imagine the chaos that this will bring. The litter and antisocial behaviour that things like this bring...

“This is advertised as a nationwide event. This is a big operation. There’ll be an ice rink and amusements. This isn’t a Santa sitting in a corner on a rocking chair,” she said.

“This is a disaster waiting to happen.”

Director of Christmas Kingdom Andre Jenkinson argued that facilities have been put in place to ease congestion.

“This event isn’t just a child going in and sitting on Santa’s knee. It’s a journey that will take up to an hour and include 12 different experiences.

“The car parking for it will be the car park along the coast. We’re doing a Christmas train that will do a loop back from there. That will alleviate the traffic problems,” he said.

Residents were also conscious that adequate toilet facilities would not be present on site but Mr Jenkinson assured them that public toilets will be installed within the green ahead of the venue’s opening on November 20.

“I was speaking to many councillors this morning in Malahide and the response they’ve gotten to this is mostly positive,” said Mr Jenkinson.

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