In December 2019 a small committee undertook a project to light up the bandstand in the Plan in Tipperary Town.
One of the organisers, Cllr Annemarie Ryan, recalled recently of how last year’s spectacle, after a year of difficult roadworks, brought happiness to many people, especially in the West End of Tipperary Town, and of the need to replicate that this year.
“Little did we know this time last year that we would be facing into a very different and tougher landscape. We hope that the lights will add happiness to the community, to those who can visit in person but also to those members of our community who cannot come home for Christmas but can visit the Plan online (virtually) to see the spectacle.”
It was a much more low-key event this year in light of Covid-19, with many people tuning in on Facebook Live to watch the celebrations.
The virtual turning on of the lights saw honorary members Daisy O’Dwyer, Micky Collins and Joanie Buckley cut the ribbon to officially open a season of light and happiness for the Plan and for the community.
Marian Kiely is the designer behind the vision of transforming the Plan into a Christmas spectacle and in addition to the tree and the bandstand, Saint Ailbe’s School has designed two wonderful metal Christmas frames that light the entrance to the Plan.
The Abbey School are also involved in the project as they gifted a festive wooden Christmas tree festooned with lights for the area said committee member Lisa McGrath who added that they wanted to “find a way to add to the spectacle this year especially given that we cannot hold any events under the tree like we did last year”.
Brendan Lonergan said that the group are also working on a memory bench for the Plan.
“It will be a space where you can come and sit for a few minutes and take a bit of time out,” he added.
Mary Margaret Ryan said: “We hope that this year, especially when so many can not come home, that our spectacle will bring them happiness and joy in seeing their hometown looking so warm and welcoming.
Light up the Plan would like to thank Joe Buckley for providing the Christmas tree and wreaths, Seamus Clarke for the hoist, Matthew Kavanagh and Dylan Heffernan from St Ailbe’s as well as the Abbey School for providing trees, Ray Lonergan for artwork on the memory seat, Rita Fenton of Rita’s Flowers and Aidan Kennedy Electrician.