First Christmas lights to be switched on tomorrow in Loughrea

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galway daily news loughrea lights up
Pictured are Sean McDonald and Ronan Dervan of the Loughrea Community Lights Group, together with Claire Conroy of Galway Rural Development. GRD have provided LEADER grants of more than €275k toward lighting-up Galway towns this Christmas.

Loughrea will kick off the festive season tomorrow when it becomes the first town in Galway to switch on its Christmas lights at 5pm.

A total of €275,000 has been allocated by Galway Rural Development to groups in major county towns over the past year to spread joy with their illuminations. 

Five towns in Galway were awarded large allocations – Athenry, Ballinasloe, Gort, Loughrea, and Portumna, where the lights ceremonies have become Christmas traditions.

“This year, as we mark the beginning of the festive season in the different towns with the ‘switching on’ of the lights, we in GRD are keener than ever to do what we can to support our businesses and communities,” said CEO of Galway Rural Development, Steve Dolan.

“We have been through a difficult period but the new illuminations will help us all enjoy the magic of Christmas and be optimistic about the future.”

Senior Manager of GRD’s LEADER team Conor Carty thanked the community lights’ committees saying that “special praise is due to the groups who have purchased the most advanced LED Christmas lights available as these use up to 80% less energy.

“Small changes can make all the difference in reducing our environmental footprint, especially over Christmas when the potential for waste is higher.”

The Christmas Lights projects by GRD forms part of its ‘smart and competitive’ approach to supporting county towns, specifically in terms of replacing obsolete equipment and reducing energy consumption.

The environmental focus and building rural areas is central to the ‘Smart Villages’ and ‘Our Rural Future’ ethos being pursued by GRD into 2022.