Sunday 20 January 2019

Santa flying over Dublin city stops commuters in their tracks

JJ (5) and Christian Doyle (4) from Edenderry at Dublin’s GPO
JJ (5) and Christian Doyle (4) from Edenderry at Dublin’s GPO
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

If you've spotted Santa Claus and his reindeer flying across the night's sky at the Samuel Beckett Bridge, your eyes aren't deceiving you.

The dazzling light display is stopping commuters in their tracks as they make their way home on cold winter nights.

The enchanting scene - played out across the strings of the great harp - is just one part of the 'Winter Lights Dublin City' spectacle presented by Dublin City Council to ensure a nocturnal Dublin city is bathed in magical light, until spring comes around again.

A year in the making, the ambitious plan to illuminate the city will see 13 locations lit up for 31 days.

It is also hoped it will enable Dublin to take its place among the iconic 'Cities of Light' around the world.

The projections are now illuminating City Hall, Trinity College, Liberty Hall, Civic Offices, GPO, the Mansion House, Hugh Lane Gallery, Custom House and the Covanta Dublin Waste to Energy Plant in Poolbeg.

Enhanced Christmas lights are also on Samuel Beckett Bridge, Millennium Bridge, O'Connell Street and Parliament Street.

The Dublin Convention Centre has also been used as a backdrop for light projections in recent weeks.

But perhaps by far the most spectacular display occurs against the backdrop of Dublin's 'harp' bridge, designed by Santiago Calatrava.

The display is powered by 15 million colour combinations and uses less electric power than a domestic iron or 10 household light bulbs.

In November, the landmark bridge was lit up to mark the fact that Ireland hosted the Euro 2020 football draw.

Paying tribute to the whole of Europe, it displayed each country's national flag in the corresponding coloured lights. Speaking about the project, Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring said: "I was always brought into 'town' for Christmas to look at the great Christmas window displays in Clerys and Switzers.

"These features are sadly gone, but this ultra modern, yet brilliantly seasonal and innovative lighting display will, I hope, become a popular part of Christmas in the best city in the world," he said.

Sunday Independent

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