Warm weather won’t hamper festivities

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

A BRACING swim on Christmas morning, a healthy pre-lunch ‘fun run’ from the city out to Lisnagry, racing, rugby or panto - there is plenty happening in Limerick to occupy the family over the Christmas holidays this year.

A BRACING swim on Christmas morning, a healthy pre-lunch ‘fun run’ from the city out to Lisnagry, racing, rugby or panto - there is plenty happening in Limerick to occupy the family over the Christmas holidays this year.

With weather fronts making for warm, wet Christmas conditions for the first time in several years, families are likely to take advantage of not facing Arctic winds and polar ice - and what better way to start Christmas morning than joining Limerick Athletics Club on their annual Christmas Day run?

The event has been running for over 30 years and takes in a route from the Hunt Museum - leaving at 10.30am - to the Daughters of Charity centre in Lisnagry, and organiser Paddy O’Connell promises a thoroughly enjoyable time for everybody who comes out to take part.

With temperatures likely to be in the low ‘teens on Christmas Day, those of a more adventurous spirit could join the hardy folk of Castleconnell, Newport and Killaloe when they take to the water for their annual Christmas swims - at World’s End in Castleconnell, Ivy Bridge in Newport and Two-Mile-Gate, Killaloe, all taking place around 12.45pm. Considering the Castleconnell swim has been cancelled in recent years, there is likely to be a sizeable number enjoying a pre-dinner swim on Sunday.

St Stephen’s Day sees the start of the hugely popular four day Christmas racing festival in Limerick Racecourse, Patrickswell, and up to 40,000 are expected to attend over the course of the week.

The feature race of the week is the €37,500 Grade 2 Greenmount Park Chase - taking place on St Stephen’s Day. Admission prices and further details are available on page 7 of news and page 15 of sport.

Later on Monday, veteran Munster prop John Hayes will don the red jersey for likely the last time, as he packs down against Connacht in Thomond Park for his 212th appearance for Munster. The mighty Cappamore man will certainly get a huge roar from the Thomond Park crowd - kick off is 7.45pm with tickets still on sale.

Panto season begins in earnest on Tuesday with CentreStage’s Cinderella, returning panto to the Belltable for the first time since it was redeveloped a number of years ago. Adapted by Mike Finn, Cinderella stars Myles Breen as the Dame.

Limerick Panto Society also present their version of Aladdin in the UCH, beginning Wednesday and featuring Tim Cusack and Nigel Dugdale.