Tree of Light will sparkle this Christmas

The tree when it was last lit in the mid 2000s to commemorate all those who lose their lives on Irish roads.
Pictures: Valerie O’Sullivan

A MAGNIFICENT 100ft tree, festooned with close on 3,000 sparkling lights and topped with a giant star, will illuminate Killarney this Christmas and excitement is mounting with the lights currently being fitted.

The towering Tree of Light will be created on the landmark giant Californian Redwood tree on the grounds of St Mary’s Cathedral.

The project is a collaboration between a Christmas in Killarney Festival sub-committee and the Killarney parish and it will create a wonderful focal point in the town in the lead up to and during the festive season.

Fr Kieran O’Brien, Administrator, Killarney Parish (third from light) with members of the Christmas in Killarney committee, from left, Kate O’Leary, John O’Mahony, Paul Sherry, President, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, Cllr Niall Kelleher, Mayor of Kerry, Cormac Foley and Terence Mulcahy

The lights will be officially switched on immediately after a special ceremony which will be held in St Mary’s Cathedral at 6.00pm on Sunday, December 8.

Killarney Parish Administrator, Fr Kieran O’Brien and the project committee have extended an invitation to all community groups, schools, clubs and organisations, families and individuals to join in what promises to be a wonderful community celebration.

The Tree of Light was first lit to mark the millennium year when it commemorated all those who lost their lives in the conflict in Northern Ireland and it was again illuminated in the mid 2000s to remember those who had been killed on Irish roads.

This year tree is being fitted with up to 3,000 lightweight, more energy efficient bulbs and the preparation work  has commenced in recent days.

The project is all about community and it will celebrate the fact that Killarney is such a wonderful town to live in.

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

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