Covid won't dampen festive spirits in Drumlish and Ballinamuck

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Ballinamuck/Drumlish Christmas lights

At the Christmas crib in Drumlish last Saturday night were Leona, Paraic and Ellie Brady, and cousins Lauren McCormack, Ally and Joe Mulleady Picture: Shelley Corcoran

Local parish priest Fr Ber Hogan conducted the formalities courtesy of a socially distant gathering.

Last Friday saw the annual turning on of the Christmas lights in Drumlish as the north Longford village and neighbouring Ballinamuck joined forces in a bid to ensure the festive season kicked off in style, covid no covid.

Fast forward to this weekend and all eyes are on Ballinamuck as it gears up for an innovative, yet Covid-19 friendly Santy experience.

In an attempt to keep proceedings in line with previous years, there will be a special grotto in situ.

Children and families will be afforded five minutes each with the man himself in an event which has certainly struck a chord with locals.

The occasion is fully booked out with 400 families expected to attend over the course of next weekend (December 12-14).

Local Cllr Paraic Brady is hoping that same level of allegiance is reflected in consumer spending over the course of the festive season.

“We will be asking people to shop as locally as possible when doing their shopping,” he said.

“We are trying to keep things as normal as we can for the children and parents.”

Cllr Brady said every effort was being made at local political level to ensure this year's Christmas celebrations are upheld with those of previous years.

“The lights going on in Drumlish, Ballinalee and Granard is us trying to keep things as normal and positive for the people as we can so that, in time, we can all get back to some kind of normality,” he added.