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Christmas Lights Switch-on in Monaghan.

The seasonal spirit arrived in Monaghan Town on Sunday, Nov 21st and Christmas has officially begun. The organisers must be complimented on a great afternoon of activity in Monaghan town centre and the programme brought the crowds into the town in big numbers. Local radio estimated the numbers at almost 8000 and taking everything into consideration this might be quite accurate.

There were carols being sung by choirs from the local schools and Jamie Archer was pulling the crowds of young and not so young into the Forum for a greet and meet. He in turn was getting his hair pulled by screaming youngsters as if to check if it was real and they discovered that it was firmly attached. On the main gig-rig the Gospel Choir was attracting the crowds too and when it neared the time for Jamie to appear on this stage the crowds swelled and covered every inch of Church Square. It was time for the big man himself- Father Christmas - to arrive which he duly did to roars of approval from all but especially the younger folk. Then he gave me a big surprise - I discovered that he is a wonderful singer and he seemed anxious to sing all night but he had to give way to another star. However he did promise to call back to all the good children on Christmas Eve.

Just before Jamie’s arrival there were a couple of official speeches from Gordon Fleming, President of the Chamber of Commerce; Sinead Corrigan, President of Monaghan Rotary and Robbie Gallagher, Town Mayor. All of them were up-beat despite the doom and gloom nationwide and all encouraged people to support local business at this time of need.

Jamie arrived and, when the cheering died down a little, he and Robbie plugged in the power and the lights of Monaghan lit up. Again congratulations to those behind the effort to make Monaghan a brighter place this Christmas as the new lights really make the town look good.