WITHIN seconds of a Christmas tree being erected in Limerick city, people clamoured to reach it - but it was not to claim any material gifts hidden underneath.
Now in its sixth year, the annual Thomond Rotary Club Remembrance tree on Bedford Row continues to draw thousands of people over the Christmas period, seeking some spiritual time-out from shopping and to remember those who they wish were here with them.
Gaye Moore, president of the Thomond Rotary Club, was on hand to officially launch the tree with the Mayor Kevin Sheahan this week.
Yet again, she said the tree - or what it symbolises - has received a huge response from the public.
Anyone can add a name of a loved one, be they someone who has passed away, emigrated to distant shores, or even the name of a deceased pet to the tree, by writing it on a yellow ribbon.
The public is asked to make a donation of their choice to three of their nominated charities - Mid-West Cancer Foundation; Cuan Mhuire; and the Corbett Suicide – Prevention.
Mayor Sheahan said he was honoured to be invited to be invited to the launch of this project, and said “It’s a very timely thing to do, as sadly Christmas can be a hard and poignant time for so many people who have lost their loved ones.
“At least this affords people a small opportunity to remember them,” he said.
The Mayor praised the volunteers who are manning the stand to hand out ribbons, and assign them to any available spaces left on the tree, which is fast becoming packed to capacity.