LIKE ROAST turkey and frozen roads, the Noonan family in Templeglantineâ€™s Christmas lights display has become a fixture of the festive season in West Limerick.
Every year, Tony Noonan decorates his home and garden at Tullig North with over â‚¬10,000 worth of lights and opens his doors to visitors from across the county, all in a bid to raise money for local charities.
Next Friday night, November 23 Tony will begin the countdown to Christmas when he switches on his colourful, spectacular array of lights. Last year, donations by visitors to the Noonan home raised more than â‚¬13,000 for charity.
Tony said that despite an enduringly tough economic climate, the people of West Limerick have remained wonderfully generous.
â€œWe do the same thing every year â€“ itâ€™s 100% free for everyone to come along, and thereâ€™s no pressure on anyone to donate money if they donâ€™t want to. But itâ€™s always been a huge success. Everything we raise goes straight to charityâ€.
This year, the beneficiaries of the Noonan familyâ€™s display will be the Brothers of Charity services in Newcastle West and Foynes, Milford Care Centre in Castletroy and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland in Adare.
The Noonan family have assembled the huge lights display piece by piece for the past number of years, and pay for its running costs entirely out of their own pocket.
Next Friday nightâ€™s switching-on event will just be the start of a bumper calendar of festive events. On Saturday, December 8 the Noonan family will host their annual Christmas party, which attracted over 300 guests last year. The event, which starts up from 4.30pm, will feature a visit by Santa Claus himself, who will be giving a free gift to every child. The day will also feature a visit from the county senior football champions Dromcollogher-Broadford, who will have the Fr Casey Cup in tow.
Meanwhile, on December 6 the West Limerick Singing Club are to hold a fundraising night for the Noonan familyâ€™s campaign at Philip Enrightâ€™s The Ramble Inn in Abbeyfeale.