County Limerick village kicks off Christmas season with very early start 

Norma Prendiville


Norma Prendiville

Anna Shanahan, Ashford helping a customer choose an item at a previous Christmas Market in Tournafulla Picture: Dave Gaynor

Anna Shanahan, Ashford helping a customer choose an item at a previous Christmas Market in Tournafulla Picture: Dave Gaynor

SHHHH! Whisper it. It’s the Christmas word. The Christmas Market, to be precise, but they’re not whispering it in Tournafulla.

No, indeed. In fact, they’re shouting it out from the top of the Mullaghareirks because it’s taking place on Sunday, November 11 in Tournafulla.

The Christmas Market has now become a well-loved annual in the Tournafulla calendar, according to Helen Brouder who is a leading member of  the Tournafulla Sustainable Living which organises the event.

“We are early,” she acknowledged, but they wanted to avoid a clash with other events as Christmas draws closer.

And the decision seems to have paid off. “We will have up to 30 stalls this year,” Ms Brouder said. Some of the popular stands from previous years will return, providing a showcase for local producers and craftspeople. But others are coming from as far away as Waterford.

“It is a great day out for the community,” Ms Brouder added.

There is added excitement about this year’s Market however because it will help fund a community cafe which is to be located in the new-build GAA clubhouse.

“The community cafe is definitely going ahead,” Ms Brouder said. The GAA was fully behind the project she added and had assigned upstairs space in the clubhouse for a kitchen and dining room. The only obstacle now, Ms Brouder explained,  was the funding and installation of a lift in the clubhouse which is a precondition of planning. The lift is estimated to cost about €20,000 and they hope to secure some grant aid towards that cost as well as fund-raising.

“Once the  money is there for the lift, we will be ready to go,” she said. The community cafe kitchen had been laid out  but the Sustainable Living will install the kitchen and provide the furniture in the dining room. “We have a great vision for the place,” Ms Brouder enthused.

Work on the new clubhouse is nearing completion, GAA stalwart Liam Lenihan said. But work on plumbing and electrics remained to be done. Their hope is to have everything ready to open in the spring of 2018.

Meanwhile, it will be all hands on deck for Sunday, November 12. In addition to the stalls, there will be a festive cafe with homebaking in operation, a bumper raffle and an auction. For children, there will be Escape Room, a clue-led game.

The Christmas Market gets underway at 1pm on November 12.