THE family that has owned Barry’s Amusements in Portrush for more than 90 years has put it up for sale as a going concern.
Owned by the Trufelli family, the fun-fair located in the sea-side town is considered as one of Northern Ireland’s best-known amusement parks.
In a statement, the Trufelli family said it wished to in inform all stakeholders that 'Barry's Amusements is to be marketed for sale as a going concern.'
"Our 11 full-time staff have been informed and will be kept in employment throughout the sale process," the statement said.
"This is not a decision the family has taken lightly, especially given our 93-year trading history, and follows significant and emotional consideration over a prolonged period.
"We understand the special place that Barry’s holds in the hearts of many Northern Ireland families, but none closer than our own.
"We wish to thank all our customers who have helped sustain Barry’s down the years and our full-time and seasonal employees who have been pivotal to the success of the business. We hope your memories of Barry’s are happy ones.
"As family operators, we feel we can no longer give the considerable commitment required to effectively manage the business.
"We hope to pass on the baton to someone who will ensure generations can still enjoy the fun that Barry’s offers our local and wider community."
Leading business advisory firm Grant Thornton has been appointed to find a buyer.
The family say they hope to pass the business onto someone who will keep it running for years to come.
There will be no further comment from the Trufelli family until the sale process is concluded.
Meanwhile, tributes were paid online to the iconic amusement park following the announcement on Friday.
Helen Curry said: “I'm from Eglinton and we used to take the train from Derry/Londonderry down in the summer it will be missed.”
Sandra Maltman Cowdry said: “I'm from Limavady, I'm in my 60s and still love Barry's, the smell of the machines as you walk in and the noise and all the happy faces.”
Diane Carr said: “That's sad l loved popping in there when in Portrush. l remember the laughing Sailor years ago and the ghost trains very frightening to us little ones.
“Surely Portrush needs something like this to keep going.”
Ryan Rivers said: “Bad news today prime development area for apartments or hotel.”
Catriona Mullan said: “Looking back, the best memories I have of Barry's would be how the evil-looking clown that hung and spun from the ceiling spooked me every time!
“I would always pretend I wasn't scared of the Ghost Train yet closed my eyes the entire time.”
Leona McCloskey said: “I’m from Limavady (and) went here as a child for so long now I take my child I really hope who ever buys keeps it the way it is.”
Here's hoping future generations will get to experience the excitement of a trip to Barry's under new owners for years to come.