As Athlone continues preparations for the festive season, it will be an occasion to remember for local girl Ruby Morrissey when she turns on the Christmas lights on Sunday evening.
Eight year old Ruby, who, with her mother Elaine, is battling Ehlers Danlos syndrome (EDS ), a rare and painful genetic disorder, will alight the town in festive glow in the town’s civic centre at 4pm, an occasion that will also feature appearances from Santa Claus and music from BowTie and the Athlone Choral Society, while renowned local DJ, Pete Casey, will MC the event.
Ruby’s brother Jordan, and his friend Isaac O’Neill, recently walked to Dublin, helping to raise funds for surgery which Elaine requires and to create more public awareness of this debilitating genetic condition.
Festive Preparations Continue Apace
With Christmas Day a mere four weeks away, works to enhance the town prior to the onset of the festive season continue apace. Thirty feet Christmas trees are now in place in both the Count John McCormack civic square and St Peter’s Square, the town’s Christmas display additionally complemented with pole mounts and cross street displays on Athlone’s main thoroughfares.
Responsibility falls upon the Athlone Festival and Events Infrastructure Group to ensure that Athlone is festively aglow this Christmas. Ably fronted by Shay Hamilton, the group were faced with the challenge of sourcing a competent contractor to erect the Christmas lights, but such a scenario was realised, the town now in the final throes of preparation for the switching on of the festive lights on Sunday evening.
Commending the work of the group, Cllr Frankie Keena noted that an inordinate amount of work “goes on behind the scenes” to ensure Athlone is looking its best during the Christmas season.
“Special thanks to all the group members for their ongoing voluntary work and indeed for the excellent support from the district manager, Jackie Finney, and the Athlone Chamber of Commerce.
“The Athlone Switching On Lights group, fronted by Caoimhe O’Connell, are busy in finalising plans for the switching on ceremony in the Civic Square on Sunday and it is definitely going to be a ‘wow’ event, one not to be missed,” Cllr Keena concluded.