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Cork towns and villages to switch their Christmas lights on at 7pm today

It’s part of Cork County Council’s ‘A Real Cork Christmas’ initiative.

Bantry, December 2014.
Bantry, December 2014.

CORK COUNTY COUNCIL is lighting up its Christmas lights today – earlier than usual in an effort to drum up support for local businesses and to keep people’s spirits up.

The Council is turning its Christmas lights on in every town and village at 7pm today. It’s also encouraging people to join in by lighting up a window in their home or business “in a moment of hope and solidarity”.

This is part of the Council’s ‘A Real Cork Christmas’ initiative, which was announced on 2 November and is designed to “bolster” communities and businesses in Co Cork.

The Council said that it aimed to promote “the vibrant range of gifts and products on sale locally”, ensure Christmas is still celebrated in a “safe and meaningful way”; and create a sense of solidarity and hope among the people of Cork, despite the challenges.

Tens of millions of euro are spent in Cork in the run up to Christmas, the Council says, but with limits on shops, restaurants, and other business owners due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council is urging Cork county’s 300,000 citizens to support local. 

Other initiatives include:

  • Students in fourth class across Co Cork are being asked to design a Christmas postcard to represent what ‘A Real Cork Christmas’ means to them. 
  • To promote well-being and mental health, the Council is launching ‘Slí Na Croí Am Nollaig’, where red and white ribbons will be added to community walkways to symbolise community solidarity
  • The Council is establishing a virtual marketplace, where businesses are invited to post their details and how potential customers can contact them. Businesses can apply to join the marketplace here.

Mayor of Cork County, Councillor Mary Linehan Foley, said: “The introduction of Level 5
restrictions has come as a significant blow for our local retailers, who had been relying on the run up to Christmas to make up for lost time and business earlier in the pandemic.

“Many retailers in Co Cork have geared up for click-and-collect, phone-and-collect and online sales, and we now need to show our support for our family and friends by making sure that what we spend this Christmas stays local.

As a community, we will celebrate Christmas as best we can while protecting and supporting each other. I look forward to leading by example, and spending as much as I can with Cork businesses in the weeks ahead.

 ’ARCC’ is an extension of ‘Project ACT’, which was established earlier in the pandemic. 

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