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Tayto Park, An Irish Theme Park Named After a Potato Chip

 

Tayto Crisps are as beloved to the Irish as Guinness is although the rest of the world might not be aware of this.  One of the first things you do when you get off the plane is grab some crisps on the way out of the airport.  It all started with Dubliner Joe 'Spud' Murphy, born in 1923, Murphy had apparently shunned a life in the priesthood - two of his brothers were priests - by announcing: "To hell with this, we need one sinner in the family.''  'Spud' Murphy came up with the idea for Tayto in 1954, and started his crisp empire with one van and eight employees. The crisps were cooked by hand in two deep-fat fryers, with Murphy's wife, Bunny, helping to slice the potatoes.  The brand name Tayto had its genesis in Murphy's eldest son Joseph's inability to pronounce the word "potato". The crisps took the Irish snack world by storm, and the popularity of cheese & onion spread abroad. By the 1960s, Murphy was a millionaire. He drove around Dublin in a Rolls Royce (replaced every two years) and was hailed by then-Taoiseach Sean Lemass as the very acme of Irish entrepreneurial spirit.  Tayto’s Mr. Potato Head-like icon became to many the true symbol of Ireland.

In 2010 Tayto’s current owner Ray Coyle decided it would be a clever idea to devote 55 acres full of games and rides to the beloved chip, right across the street from the Tayto factory in Co. Meath.   Everyone who enters the park gets a free bag of Taytos which much as I love them are slightly too intense when they are that fresh.  Your cheese and onion breath will kill everyone within half a mile of you.  As the years passed Tayto Park added more and more attractions and in 2015 got its star attraction: The Cú Chulainn Coaster, which is reportedly the only permanent roller coaster in Ireland and, at 105 feet high, is the tallest wooden ride of its kind in all of Europe.  So, you might be right in thinking “hang on the coaster is made of wood, doesn’t it rain like mad in Ireland?”.  This is one of the most asked questions at the park and everyone is assured that there are wooden rollercoasters all over the world and that The Cú Chulainn roller-coaster can withstand Irish weather.  You however will be very wet by the time you get on it. 

On that note, enjoy our Tayto stuff!

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