CHRISTMAS officially begins in west Limerick this weekend as Templeglantine man Tony Noonan illuminates the area with his renowned annual Christ lights spectacular.
Undoubtedly one of the favourite sights of Christmas in West Limerick, the lights will be turned on this Friday night, November 23 at the Noonan home in Tullig North.
It is hoped this year — at a time of unprecedented financial uncertainty and hardship —that the lights will bring joy to the hearts of all who view them, Tony explained.
The brilliant display will also be used of course to help a number of local charities, including the Brothers of Charity (Foynes and Newcastle West), Milford Hospice and the Adare Branch of the Alzheimer's Society.
Once again, Tony and his family are extending an open invitation to come and see the lights up until January 7, with a donation to the causes being completely optional.
"The key thing for us is that people realise they do not have to donate if they come out to see the lights. We know how difficult everything is for people at this time and we only hope that the scene will bring joy and fun to their hearts, particularly for children. If I make one euro or €1,000 I'm happy," said Tony.
In the 15 years that Tony has been doing this, he and his family have raised an incredibly €100,000 for charities across west Limerick. Every cent that is donated from the public goes to the charities, while Tony and his loyal sponsors foot the cost of the ESB bill, which last year hit €950. Santa will visit the Noonans on December 8, for a special Christmas party, with presents and treats on offer to the children as well as some nibbles for the adults. All toys and goodies have been donated by local sponsors. The Noonan home is located in Tullig North, Templeglantine, some three to four kilometres from Abbeyfeale on the left-hand slip road at Abbey Tyres on the Limerick side of the town.