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Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 4°C
# Going Down
We rode the Tayto Park rollercoaster - here's what we learned
It’s big, fast and smooth.

TODAY, THE RANKED masses of the Irish media were invited to descend on Ashbourne in County Meath.

The occasion? The opening of the Cú Chulainn Coaster at Tayto Park.

Not wanting to let our readers down, made the trip to Meath. We’re troopers that way and in no way just wanted to ride the rollercoaster.

Here are some takeaways from our trip:

It’s big

IMAG1699 Paul Hosford / Paul Hosford / /

The rollercoaster stands at 32 metres at its highest. As with all things, what goes up must come down. Riders are propelled down a 31 metre drop to start the ride.

It’s fast

PastedImage-63043 Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

You hit speeds of between 90 and 100 km/ph at the ride’s fastest point. Which is pretty fast. For reference, The Incredible Hulk ride in Orlando hits 108 km/ph.

It’s smooth

PastedImage-47362 Photocall Ireland Photocall Ireland

If the idea of a wooden rollercoaster brings to mind visions of bouncing around, you will be pleasantly surprised. The design of Cú Chulainn makes the ride extremely smooth, despite hitting 3Gs of force on the way down.

It took four years to get here

PastedImage-72260 Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Tayto Park Owner Raymond Coyle with Share A Dream charity user child Cian Harty (11). Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Tayto Park founder Raymond Coyle told that he began planning for the ride four years ago. After three years of planning and a year of construction, the ride opens to the public tomorrow.

It’s heavy – and complicated

PastedImage-58023 Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

It took over 800,000 kilos of yellow pine and more than 100 tonnes of steel to make Cú Chulainn, Europe’s largest wooden coaster, a reality. Added to that, it used 700,000 nuts and bolts and each individual joint had to be planned by designer Korey Kiepert and his team from the Gravity Group.

You go upside-down – and it was a late addition


In the middle of the ride, you are turned almost fully upside down. It is the first inversion on a wooden rollercoaster in Europe and was added late to the design. Kiepart tells us that the design was presented to the Coyle family with a 90 degree bank, but Raymond asked to “kick it up a notch”.

It’s good – really good

PastedImage-35926 Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

The overwhelming response to the ride was positive while we were there. And that’s not just the media. Members of the European Coaster Club were on hand for the launch and one member told that it is “one of the best wooden coasters in Europe”.

Read: The Tayto Park rollercoaster, what a sight to behold

Read: All hail Mr Tayto … he’s about to create 150 jobs