Dustin the Turkey vows to ‘light up Limerick’

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

THE perils of being a winged bird; Dustin the Turkey will need Leanne Moore’s help to switch on Limerick city’s Christmas lights this Friday as he just doesn’t have fingers.

THE perils of being a winged bird; Dustin the Turkey will need Leanne Moore’s help to switch on Limerick city’s Christmas lights this Friday as he just doesn’t have fingers.

The acerbic children’s presenter said this week that he was “looking forward to lighting up Limerick” with Leanne this Friday.

“It is going to be absolutely amazing, come down, enjoy the day, rain or shine, it is going to be absolutely brilliant, and I might even get a little smooch from Leanne, if she’s lucky! Go on you good thing,” Dustin told the Limerick Leader this week.

The pair are starring in UCH’s panto Cinderella and will follow in the sizeable footsteps of rugby stars Paul O’Connell and Jonah Lomu and Irish rockers The Coronas - who did the deed last year - in kicking off Limerick’s ChristmasFest 2012 this Friday on Thomas Street.

Dustin insisted the duo were “just friends” despite any romantic notions otherwise, and Corbally’s Leanne said she was happy to be called in to help the turkey out with his ceremonial duties.

“Dustin and I have been chatting - he just doesn’t have fingers you see, so that is why I am pressing the button! That is going to be fun,” laughed Leanne.

“Honestly when I got the phone call, I didn’t believe it , I thought it was a joke,” laughed the Cinderella star.

“I am very humbled, I think that is the only way I can say it, over the moon. I haven’t been able to get down for the lights because of work over the past two years, but to be asked to do it, I didn’t know how to react, I was really just delighted.”

“To be asked to fulfil such a huge role in my hometown means more than most would understand. It’s an absolute honour and an opportunity I’m very grateful for,” she added.

Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Gerry McLoughlin, said he was keenly anticipating the event.

“The turning on of the lights is one of my favourite Christmas events because it showcases Limerick at its best, families filling the streets and the city looks magical when it is all lit up,” he explained.

“To have Cinderella and a turkey turning on Limerick’s Christmas lights is sure to entertain both young and old,” he said.

Limerick City Council have spent €100,000 in 2012 on the Christmas lights, creating new displays on William Street, Catherine Street and Thomas Street, with “3D displays” making their debut in the city and will be installed at the Debenhams, Bedford Row and Roches Street junctions.

The dazzling 3D stars at Debenhams and Bedford Row will be 2.9m high while the illuminations on Roches Street will be 1.9m in height.

The build-up to the event will start from 4.30pm on Friday with live music from the Christmas Hollies Quartet, the Limerick Gospel Choir and the 10-piece brass band The Pearly Whites, with Catriona Tierney from Limerick’s Live 95FM to act as MC.

The switch-on will take place at 6pm. For full details on Christmas in Limerick visit www.limerick.ie/christmas.