The University of Limerick campus was transformed into a Winter Wonderland for the annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony last Thursday.
This year the ceremony tied in with a Christmas farmers market and craft fair which was the latest instalment of the UL40 celebrations to mark the first intake of students to the institution in 1972.
University of Limerick vice president academic and registrar, Professor Paul McCutcheon switched on the campus Christmas lights.
Speaking during the ceremony Professor McCutcheon praised the charitable work of students and staff over the past 12 months. He said he was inspired by the “deep commitment and passion” that students and staff have for the university and for the community.
He said: “The generosity of spirit is truly inspiring and it is fitting to mark this in the season of good will and thankfully it is a spirit which continues to grow and prosper at UL.”
The poor weather on the day didn’t dampen the spirits of anyone that turned up to take part in the festivities. There was music and entertainment, complimentary festive refreshments which included UL Christmas cookies which were distributed by Santa’s Little Helpers during the event.
UL student Kelly O’Brien said: “I think it’s great, it’s really Christmassy and it’s lovely to have something like this just before exams because everyone is really stressed at the moment. It just kind of lightens the whole atmosphere of the place.”
There was plenty for families too: children got the chance to meet Santa and his helpers in the UCH Atrium and take part in the face painting, balloon moulding and magic shows while parents had the chance to peruse the festive crafts and delicacies on display.
At the Chernobyl Children’s Trust stall, volunteer Aisling Danagher explained that all the crafts on display at the stall were made by disabled people in Belarus and all proceeds from the sale of the goods at the craft fair went straight back to help them.
Ms Danagher said: “It’s brilliant to be here. There are loads of other craft stalls here, it’s very Christmassy and there are loads of nice students and staff around so it’s a lovely way to end the semester.”