FOR THE FIFTH year running the Carroll family are seeing delight in children’s eyes with their Christmas lights display.
There are over 100 light monuments in their garden in Coolruss, Granagh. For years Joe, Bernie and their son, Kevin, have been lighting up the sky with their winter wonderland.
Locals began to arrive to see the display in their garden and one suggested they put a charity box for visitors to donate. Every year Joe invests in new pieces and five years later they have raised almost €9,000 for charity.
You name it Joe has it - crib, Santas, reindeers, sleighs, carriages, helicopter, train, water feature, a new Mr Christmas set and merry go rounds. What sets their collection apart is the many Disney cartoon characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Cinderella and lots more. They are all imported from the UK or America.
He even brought in a Tasmanian Devil this year.
The only recompense the Carrolls get is seeing the happiness in the little boys’ and girls’ faces. But that is all the reward they want.
“The Mickey and Minnie Mouse monuments are the same size as a small child so they are looking up at them. The impact that has on a chid, you can see it in their eyes,” said Joe.
They invited Santa Claus out to see for himself and over 300 children and parents were there to greet him.
“Each child got a present, a photo with Santa as well as minerals and teas, coffees and cake for their parents. There were people home for Christmas as well so it was extra special. Everyone had a ball,” said Joe.
He turns on the display around 5.30pm and they will be on every night, including Christmas Day, until January 6.
By the end of it Joe reckons the ESB bill will be between €500 and €600. Everyone is welcome to turn up and enjoy the exhibition. There is no set donation just give what you like.
“One hundred per cent of the money collected goes to charity. We take nothing from it and the cost of the ESB is our gift to the charities - St Joseph’s Foundation and Pieta House,” said Joe.
The Christmas lights display is well sign posted from O’Rourke’s Cross on the M20 Limerick to Cork road. Take the road for Newcastle West and follow the signs. The light in the sky will lead you the rest of the way.