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Limerick man won’t let energy crisis ruin his charity Christmas lights display

Tony Noonan first transformed his bungalow at Tullig North, Templeglantine, Co Limerick into a fluorescent winter wonderland 25 years ago.

Templeglantine man Tony Noonan with his famous charity festive lights. Photo: Domnick Walsh

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

A Limerick pensioner has said that his champion Christmas lights display won’t be “pulled off the grid” this year due to the rising cost of energy bills.

Tony Noonan first transformed his bungalow at Tullig North, Templeglantine, Co Limerick into a fluorescent winter wonderland 25 years ago.

Since then, he has been crowned the best private Christmas lights arrangement in the country on three separate occasions.

“We’ve been doing it for over 20 years, and we do it for charity. We didn’t do it in 2020 due to Covid because the restrictions were in place. It was disheartening but we set up a GoFundMe page and we still raised €10,000,” he told the Sunday World.

“We were delighted to be back last year and we’re back full steam ahead this year.

“I’m a child at heart and I have a special needs daughter, Siobhan, who loves Christmas lights and that was the main reason I started doing it.

“I never thought that the first time we did this 25 years ago, it would have taken off like this, but people love coming here.”

And despite the recent hike in electricity prices, the 66-year-old is still determined to put on a show this Christmas.

“I don’t know how much it’s going to be this year because the electricity is going up and down. Last year’s bill was approximately €1,200 and it’s a separate system for our house and the Christmas lights.

“I have a generator, which is being sponsored by a local Limerick electrical company, Richard Egan Electrical, so hopefully it’ll cost me very little. We won’t be pulled off the grid.”

This winter, Tony’s Christmas lights display will raise funds for Milford Hospice in Limerick, Recovery Haven in Tralee, Limerick Suicide Watch, and CARI Limerick.

“They’re the four main charities but we might add another one closer to the time,” he explained, before revealing that some famous faces would be paying a visit to the house over the festive period.

“Our official opening will be [attended by] the Limerick goalie, Nickie Quaid. He’s the man who’s going to be flicking the switch, like he’s done the last few years. We have the Kerry team coming too with the Sam Maguire Cup.”

Tony believes that the lights are important to the community as they boost morale after a difficult few years.

“It’s lovely to see people coming to the house and walking around the garden. They can walk up the driveway and enjoy it. We have snowmen, reindeer, Santas, cribs, and Christmas trees. We always get the support and I just love doing it.”

“It gives enjoyment to people after Brexit, after Covid, we’re in the middle of a war and we’re in the middle of an energy crisis. People have to get a bit of enjoyment somewhere.”

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