Santa arriving at Main Street, Carrick-on-Suir to turn on the town's Christmas lights a few years ago. Picture Anne Marie Magorrian
Carrick-on-Suir’s business community is to receive local authority grant aid again this year to help fund the Christmas lights for the town centre though the allocation will be less than last year.
Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District councillors agreed at their monthly meeting last Thursday to allocate €5,000 to Carrick-on-Suir Business Association to assist it with the town’s Christmas lights.
Last year the Municipal District allocated €7,500 to COSBA for this purpose but last week’s meeting of councillors heard other towns and villages in the District also require financial assistance from the council for their Christmas lights this year.
Acting District Administrator Liz McGrath told the meeting the council had received a letter from COSBA requesting financial assistance for the town’s Christmas lights and indicated there was some money available for Christmas lights in the District’s General Municipal Allocation (GMA).
Carrick-on-Suir Cllr Kieran Bourke (FF) supported COSBA’s request. He pointed out it cost an estimated €15,000 per annum for Carrick-on-Suir’s Christmas lights to be erected and taken down and he noted that each year these lights required maintenance and repair.
Referring to the Covid-19 pandemic, he said businesses have suffered this year and were now in another lockdown.
Traders and communities didn’t have the money in Carrick-on-Suir and in towns and villages like Fethard and Ballingarry to fund their Christmas lights.
He acknowledged Carrick-on-Suir was “well looked after” for Christmas lights funding last year and proposed the council allocate €5,000 towards the cost of the town’s lights this year. He explained the Municipal District also needed to help out other villages and towns with their lights.
He said it was going to be a “gloomy enough Christmas” this year and not to have Christmas lights in the towns and villages would only add to this. Council chairman Cllr Kevin O’Meara seconded Cllr Bourke’s proposal.
Carrick Cllr David Dunne said he agreed all the villages need help with funding Christmas lights. Carrick-on-Suir got a lot of funding in previous years - a legacy from the days of Carrick-on-Suir Town Council. He called on the council to give whatever money it could to towns and villages for Christmas lights.
Cloneen Cllr Mark Fitzgerald (FG) echoed Cllr Dunne’s call on the council to do whatever it can to lift the gloom in December by providing grants for Christmas lights in the District’s communities.