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Donation captures the real spirit of Christmas

Businessman Paul Fitzgerald (right) presents a cheque to Paul Sherry of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce (centre) with Barry O’Connor, Paul Fitzgerald and Son (left)

THE true spirit of Christmas was very much in evidence in Killarney this week when a big-hearted local businessman made a very generous and unsolicited donation to the Christmas in Killarney festival committee.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce officials were thrilled to receive the contribution from Paul Fitzgerald of Paul Fitzgerald and Son Stone and Building Supplies who wanted to contribute to the rising costs of decorating the town for the festive season.

In the enforced absence of the colourful Santa parades this year, the committee has invested heavily in feature glass marquees to showcase some of the spectacular floats that usually take to the streets for the bumper parades.

The displays caught eye of Paul Fitzgerald and, in the true spirit of the season that’s in it, he decided to pledge his financial support.

“It never ceases to amaze me how wonderful this town looks every Christmas and I could see that a very special effort had been made this year,” said the Coolcaslagh based businessman.

“Being in business, I knew the effort of the committee would not come without expense so I felt compelled to offer what financial support I could,” he added.

Paul Sherry President of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce said all involved in the Christmas in Killarney initiative were bowled over when the call came through from Paul Fitzgerald.

“Every year the business community of Killarney steps up to the mark and provides financial assistance to the festival.

“This year, given the difficult circumstances, we were reticent about asking our supporters to contribute but, as was alluded to at our recent AGM, we have had no choice but to seek that support,” said Mr Sherry.

A very significant sum of money was invested by the Killarney Tidy Towns Committee to deliver the spectacular new lighting features, including this outside the courthouse.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

Close on €25,000 has been invested in additional Christmas lights and repairs this year and a further €20,000 has been spent showcasing the floats in marquees.

Additionally, a very significant sum of money was invested by the Killarney Tidy Towns Committee to deliver the spectacular new lighting features at the top of High Street and outside the courthouse while Kerry County Council installs the town lighting every year.

“Even if the Christmas in Killarney committee was to standstill and do nothing each year, there would be a requirement to raise at least €20,000,” Paul Sherry said.

“We have gone for broke this year, despite the difficulties, and I am hopeful that, as in years past, the business community in Killarney will come to the rescue and support our efforts.

“The Killarney Chamber were so delighted with Paul Fitzgerald’s donation and we take the opportunity to thank him and his staff for their kind gesture,” he added.

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