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Get ready for action as Curry’s take delivery of UK’s first drifting dodgems

Updated: Mar 29, 2022

Work is continuing at pace as Curry’s Fun Park Portrush eyes an Easter opening date in a bid to welcome families back from across Northern Ireland to the former Barry’s complex.

Originally put up for sale in 2019, a year later it was advertised as a development opportunity with an asking price of £2.75M. The iconic attraction was bought from the Trufelli family by businessman Michael Herbert.

But a multi-generational affection and relationship with Barry’s, left Northern Irish families feeling they themselves had an investment and say in the future of the site, and not many had an appetite for apartments to replace the amusements. The prospect of more development in the seaside town sparked a public outcry, and people campaigned to keep the amusements open.

Now with a dose of people power, Owen Curry, the man who is giving Barry’s a new lease of life with a long-term lease agreement, said this week that there’s a lot to do ahead of the Easter opening date, with getting old rides out and new rides in.

Speaking to reporter Helen Jones earlier this week on Good Morning Ulster, Owen gave an update on what stays and what goes. He said:

“Ghost Train stays, dodgems will stay but we have a brand new Italian car coming in a taxi form - it’s like a themed car.

“There’ll be 22 dodger cars coming from Italy with a new drift mode system on them - it’ll be the first one in the country. There’s a button you can flick and then all the cars start to drift.”

Curry’s 22 brand new drifting dodgems.

The drifting dodgems built by renowned Italian amusement company Bertazzon, will provide drivers with a brand new bumper car experience. Modelled on the drift in a rally car, the family-friendly ride will be the first of their type going into action in the United Kingdom.

Another new ride, now set up in the complex is the Crazy Frog! It is a classic fairground ride that is loved by the whole family! Climb aboard and sit in one of the carriages as you wait for the ride to set off. When you get going, be prepared to jump and bounce around as the carriage spins in a circle around a central point.

The Crazy Frog ride at Curry’s Fun Park Portrush. (Image: Ken Cox)

Owen added:

“The Big Dipper will stay. The Cyclone is going out and we’re putting the new 2020 version of the Cyclone in. It’s waiting to come in - we’re trying to fit it through the doors. It’s the same type of ride but just the newer modern version.”

Barry’s Cyclone ride.

The new Sizzler ride that has replaced The Cyclone in Curry’s Fun Park Portrush. (Video: Alan Simpson)

Owen concluded by explaining his family’s interest in taking over County Antrim’s famous family attraction:

“We live local here, and we know how iconic this is,” Owen commented. “We could only dream that we could get a chance at taking over Barry’s and putting our own amusement park in here.

“When the site came up for sale it went out then for a long-term lease, we put our hat in the ring for that, and we’re proud to be taking over this new exciting venture for us. We’re very happy.”

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