John lights up the Christmas tree throwing championship

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

John O'Dea competing in the Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championships at Tim Smyth park, Ennis. Picture: Eamon Ward
DRUG testers may need to attend next year’s Christmas tree throwing championships after John O’Dea despatched his competition with consummate ease once again this year.

DRUG testers may need to attend next year’s Christmas tree throwing championships after John O’Dea despatched his competition with consummate ease once again this year.

The man from Towerhill, Cappamore flung his tree almost eight metres and helped to raise money for cancer care. It was his third victory and second in a row at the novel Clare County Council event in Ennis.

John joked that the only drugs in his system was turkey and ham! Hundreds attempted to fling a standard 1.5 metre tree the furthest distance.

The Limerick man is the current Irish record holder in Christmas tree throwing with 10.3 metres. Last year he hit 8.6 metres but he was short of that at the weekend.

“It was under eight metres. The conditions weren’t great – there was a headwind and it was very slippy underfoot,” explained John.

However, it was still an easy three quarters of a metre win for the man in his mid-fifties. He beat men less than half his age.

“I am getting a bit long in the tooth! But I’m still keeping ahead of the posse. It is a bit of craic and the money was for the West Clare Mini-Marathon Cancer Centre which is a very good cause,” explained John, who owns a decorative concrete paving business.

Asked what his secret is, John says he doesn’t know.

“When I work it out I will tell you! They are tricky enough things to throw because they catch the wind so easy. I just give it a lash.”

But obviously natural strength is a big part as John is a former sheaf and wellington throwing champion.

Only a brave man would bet against him completing three in a row in 2017