Dark ending to plan to light up the town

A promotional leaflet that had been distributed to businesses

DARKNESS, in the form of a yellow alert storm warning, cast its own shadow on Killarney last night when an open air ceremony, to light up the town after several grim weeks, had to be cancelled for health and safety reasons.

A small group of independent business interests had been planning the event for a number of weeks and the idea was for business interests to stand at the doors of their premises at 10.30pm and shine a light skywards where drone and stationary cameras would be waiting to capture the scene.

The two-fold purpose of the event was to thank frontline workers for their efforts during the Covid-19 crisis and to give a message of hope to tell the world that Killarney would soon be preparing to light the way to welcome back visitors.

Cllr Niall O’Callaghan: One of the organisers

The organising committee, spearheaded by Cllr Niall O’Callaghan of the Fáilte Hotel, Thomas Rohan of the Flesk Restaurant and Kelly-Ann McSweeney of the McSweeney Arms Hotel, had also arranged for frontline emergency service vehicles to be parked in strategic areas with their lights flashing while local musicians and entertainers were engaged to perform at street corners.

Permission had also been sought to light up the spectacular 100ft tree on the grounds of St Mary’s Cathedral for a 15-minute period at 10.30pm.

Although promotional leaflets had been distributed to all businesses over the past week, the organisers had asked the press not to publicise it in advance to ensure there was no large gathering of people in line with social distancing restrictions.

Although the weather forecast for Kerry had been pretty dour for the days leading up to the event, the organisers hoped to be able to proceed and it was left until as late as possible to abandon the plans and a decision was made to call it off shortly after 7 o’clock on Thursday night.

It is now hoped that the event can proceed at a later date.

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