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This 1983 RTÉ report from a Cork theme park called 'Beverly Hills Wonderland' is just brilliant

Its full name is actually ‘Beverly Hills Wonderland, the Disneyland of Ireland’.

disneylan3 RTÉ Archives RTÉ Archives

THE RTÉ ARCHIVES continue to be an absolute treasure trove of tidbits from Ireland gone by, and this report from 35 years ago is no exception.

In January of 1983, broadcaster Mike Murphy visited a ‘concrete theme park’ in Mitchelstown, Co Cork called Beverly Hills Wonderland, the Disneyland of Ireland.

That was the full name. It was on the sign outside:

disneyland2 RTÉ Archives RTÉ Archives

Beverly Hills was the brainchild of Jimmy O’Sullivan, who had spent 35 years travelling the world working on ships before returning to Ireland in 1969.

He sought to bring some of the glamour he had experienced on his travels to Mitchelstown, and decided to open a theme park/playground to rival Disneyland.

The park featured life-sized versions of animals and characters from pop culture cast in concrete – there were rhinos and alligators:

cement RTÉ Archives RTÉ Archives

alligator RTÉ Archives RTÉ Archives

But also JR Ewing from Dallas, the Incredible Hulk, and Mike Murphy himself.

jrewing RTÉ Archives RTÉ Archives

incredible hulk RTÉ Archives RTÉ Archives

mike murphy RTÉ Archives RTÉ Archives

When asked by Murphy why he does it, O’Sullivan says:

Well, I get a certain amount of pleasure from it. I love animals, and I have a great like for children. And I see the pleasure the kids get out of these animals, it’s much better than to go to the zoo or anywhere else.

The full report is available to enjoy here.

There’s sadly not much information available on what happened to Beverly Hills or Jimmy O’Sullivan – but this Facebook page has a few retro shots of kids having a ball in the park:

mitchelstown Facebook / Mitchelstown Facebook / Mitchelstown / Mitchelstown

Amazing. Mosney could NEVER.

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