Ballinrobe at centre of ‘help Santa lose weight’ appeal

The town of Ballinrobe, which has a long and close association with Santa Claus, has received an incredible request from the big man’s wife: help him to lose weight, or he might not be able to get down the chimneys this year.

In an unprecedented break with protocol, Mrs Claus has announced that she will be accompanying her husband on his annual visit to Ballinrobe to switch on the Christmas lights on Sunday, November 29.

“This is a truly amazing development. I have known Santa a long time, and, indeed, Mrs Claus and myself go back a long way too, but this is the first time she has contacted us to say she will be in Ballinrobe for the lights switch-on,” said a spokesperson for the local Christmas lights committee.

“We just couldn’t believe it when we got the e-mail. She said she was ‘very worried that himself has come into a lot of weight, and there is a real danger he will not be able to get down chimneys this year’, and she is coming to Ballinrobe to make sure he doesn’t eat too much.”

Now the children of the region have been asked to congregate on Abbey Street at 6pm on the day, when Mrs Claus will make her reservations known. It is also expected she will hand out Santa healthy eating tips, so that local families can leave out the right food on Christmas Eve.

“Santa’s cholesterol is very high at the minute. He has been to the doctor, and they have him on a strict diet,” said Mrs Claus in her explosive e-mail.

“While I am in Ballinrobe, I also hope to get Santa Claus to try out some local chimneys. Traditionally, there has always been a very narrow type of chimney in the Ballinrobe area, and if he can fit down those, he can fit down chimneys all over the world.”

Now the local committee are wondering just how events will pan out on the day. “We will have to ready for this one, this is our biggest contract yet, we can’t get it wrong. We need everyone, young and old, to lend us a hand,” added the spokesperson.

Mrs Claus confirmed that either she or her famous husband will perform the official switch-on of the lights. Ballinrobe Fire Brigade have agreed to help out in any way they can to ensure that the world’s best-known chimney-vaulter can carry out his annual duties. Members of An Garda Síochána are also on standby.

Tomas Fahy, local chimney maintenance specialist, has carried out preliminary investigations in recent weeks. “I have put a few big men from around the town down some chimneys, but my problem is I don’t know how much weight Santa has put on. I will do whatever I can. But it’s a 50-50 call at the moment,” he said.


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