In 2019, Malahide Sea Scout Group celebrated 100 years of Scouting in Malahide. As part of their celebrations a centenary camp was held up on the Castle Grounds. Scouts from Malahide had camped in the demesne with kind permission from the Talbots from 1951 to 1976 when the castle was taken over by Dublin County Council. However, in 2019 by kind permission was granted by Fingal County Council and over 350 Beavers , Cubs , Scouts ,Ventures and Scouters took to camping again after and absence of 43 years.
The camping area has not changed that much when you view the two alternative photos.
Castle Blimps – The tie down rings .
Between 1917 and 1918 The Royal Flying Corps Blimps were stationed at Malahide castle. They shared a lookout cover over the Irish Sea on shipping lanes with a mooring base on Anglesey Island in North Wales. Their main duties were to act as lookouts for U-boats and escort ships and convoys across the Irish Sea. Not always effective against submarines but would often keep them submerged and the Captains of the U-Boats had a preference to attach shipping with cannon when surfaced as torpedoes proved scarce at the time.
The airships were powered by a single 75 HP Rolls Royce Hawk engine, and had a cruising speed of approx. 35 hours. The gondola carried a crew of 3 persons with a mounted Lewis machine gun and a normal bombload of two 110lbs. They could reach an altitude of approx.3000ft.They would normally work at a lower altitude as often a listening device was dropped below into the sea. They would have operated 8 hour duty patrols and would return in the evening time to be tethered down at mooring rings. It could take up to 30 men to moor a Blimp and this was often determined by winds. Mooring crews camped within the grounds and would also have additional duties of maintenance .Their officers had accommodation on Castle Terrace, opposite the railway station in Malahide village. A local family from La Mancha the Robertson’s from time to time organised dances for the men. Urban legend tells us a major war-time sea disaster was closely linked to the castle blimps. On October 9th 1918, a blimp returning after a day’s patrol over the sea got tangled and damaged while being tethered down. The next day the mailboat “RMS Leinster” making passage between Kingstown(now Dunlaoghaire) to Holyhead in North Wales with a total passenger list on board of approx. 750 was torpedoed by a U-Boat 16 miles out of Kingstown and she sank quite rapidly with loss of 537 souls. A local 18 year old Alfred Henry Boucher serving with the R.F.C. and son of a local coastguard lost his life and is buried in St. Andrews Church cemetery here in Malahide. A volunteer Sea Scout Commissioner of the Port of Dublin Sea Scouts , Mr John Ross who was to attend scout leaders conference in England chaired by Colonel Baden Powel perished in the sinking.