Shine your own light on the Tree of Light

Tree of Light: The feature Californian Redwood tree, adjacent to a Famine graveyard on the church grounds, is one of the most wonderful visual features in Killarney.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

WITH the spectacular Tree of Light set to illuminate the town from December 1, once again becoming the main focal point of the Christmas in Killarney celebrations, a golden opportunity will arise this year for people to shine their own light on the landmark tree for someone they love or anybody they wish to send a special greeting to.

Over 4,500 bulbs will sparkle on the giant 100ft Californian Redwood on the grounds of St Mary’s Cathedral and this year people can shine their own light to make it an even more meaningful Christmas.

The public is being invited to contribute €10 to shine a light and, in return, they will receive a special gift scroll on which to include the name of those they wish to remember or thank at Christmas. The scroll can be dedicated to people at home or abroad, those who have passed on or those who people want to thank.

A special Mass will be offered early in the new year for the intentions of all those for whom bulbs were bought.

All proceeds of the Shine Your Light campaign will help offset some of the enormous costs involved in running the Christmas in Killarney festival each year, and of course, ensuring that the Tree of Light will remain an annual feature for the festive season.

Bulbs can be bought and certificates downloaded online at Christmasinkillarney.com or, alternatively, they can be purchased at Sheahan’s Centra on Main Street, New Street or Muckross Road, Walsh Bros Shoes on New Street, Eagers Newsagents on High Street, Healy’s Newsagents on New Street, Who’s4Shoes on High Street or Eason on Main Street.

“This year we want to make the Tree of Light project extra special and we invite the whole community at home and away, to play their part,” said Christmas in Killarney Committee Chairman Niall Kelleher.

“There is nothing like the Tree of Light anywhere else in the country and Killarney is very lucky to have it but we must ensure it becomes a festive season fixture every year so community buy-in is essential,” he said,

The Tree of Light project is a collaboration between a Christmas in Killarney Festival sub-committee and the Killarney Parish and it creates a dramatic focal point in the town in the lead up to and during the festive season.

The tree is fitted with lightweight, energy efficient bulbs – with over 1,500 extra added this year – and the project is all about community resilience, celebrating the fact that Killarney is such a wonderful town to live in and to visit, whatever challenges are presented in life.

The feature Californian Redwood tree, adjacent to a Famine graveyard on the church grounds, is one of the most wonderful visual features in Killarney and it will greet thousands of visitors passing the cathedral on their way to and from town during the festive season.