The Hayes family home in Shanagolden
WEST Limerick is gearing up to be the most Christmassy place in the country this festive season, with an astonishing three of the six finalists vying for the title of Ireland’s Most Christmassy Home located in the West Limerick area.
Last week, the Limerick Leader featured two of the six national finalists: Tony Noonan’s Winter Wonderland in Templeglantine and Caoimhe’s Lights in Castletown/Ballyagran.
But Cormac Hayes and the Hayes family in Shanagolden are also proud contenders in the competition run by Energia and their 150,000 light display has been attracting visitors since November 23. “We started in 1997 and it has grown for years. Our biggest inspiration was our dad, my dad started the tradition,” Cormac explained.
They started putting up this year’s display in September and it took two months to complete. “Almost 150,000 lights have been used this Christmas. There are flamingos, dogs, seals, Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, the Church, an open crib, unicorns and a massive six-foot airplane saying NorthPole among many others,” explained Cormac.
Their aim, he said, was “to bring family and friends together to see the joys of Christmas lights”.
“People come from all over, Cork, Waterford, Clare and we promote it well on social media,” he added.
Anyone is welcome to come and enjoy the display, Cormac stressed, but donations are welcome and this year, all money will go to Milford Care Centre and the Children’s Ark Unit at UHL. “ It is nice to give back to charity,” Cormac said. “The more people that come to see the display the more donations you can raise.”
Voting has already begun for Ireland’s Most Christmassy Home and the public has until Tuesday next, December 17 to select their favourite. You can view all six contestants on https://www.energia.ie/imch-vote and you can vote by texting HOUSE followed by the number on your chosen hours to 51155. The Hayes house number is 5 while Noonan’s is 1 and Caoimhe’s Lights (featured as Kevin and Lorraine) is house number 6.
Meanwhile Adare is gearing up for its Live Crib which takes place this Sunday starting at 2pm and running until 5pm. This has become a huge attraction over the years, with families visiting from all over Co Limerick. There will be a warm welcome from volunteers, and newborns and their parents take their turn in the stable along with real animals.