Lights at Twilight Festival at Killeedy Eco Park

Richard O’Connor’s prayers were answered when the Gods pulled the handbrake on the harsh Saturday weather to present a fine, pleasant Winter’s day at Killeedy Eco Park last Sunday for the annual Lights at Twilight festival. The second year of this joint venture between Killeedy Camogie Club and Eco Park group was a huge success with a great turn out of families from all round to enjoy the food, singing, poetry, Killeedy Choir and the big batch of wren boys. Santa arrived in a horse drawn sleigh and was greeted by all the waiting children.
On the previous Saturday the community turned its support to the huge charity drive with a Truck and Tractor run from nearby Kantoher. A major success for the organisers with the dazzling lights of Christmas adorning up to 200 truck and tractors as they toured around the locality in convoy. This time they were out again in numbers to support the thriving local Camogie club and the organisers behind the growing 13 acre Eco Park project beside Raheenagh village.
Fr Keating opened the ceremony with the blessing of the Christmas tree and this was followed by a recital of the poem Camas by Joe Dore. Joe is a first cousin of renowned poet Michael Hartnett who pinned this lovely poem while on one of his many stays with all his relatives, the Halpin family down the road from Killeedy Eco Park. His grandmother, Bridget Halpin had a big impact in the young poet’s formative years and inspired his great love for his native tongue with much of his later work ‘as Gaeilge’.
Singers Chloe O’Connor, Castlemahon, and Katelyn Davis, Killeedy sent beautiful music through the air of the park with their beautiful songs. They were followed by the local Killeedy choir who regaled the crowd with some lovely Christmas carols. Santa arrived on the bridge courtesy of a horse drawn carriage by Chris Browne. The carriage was beautifully decorated with Christmas lights and was an instant magnet for all the children gathered with many getting a drive around by Chris.
The spectacular entrance of the torch lit Wren boys as darkness fell was another big moment with Nelius Herbert Anita Deeley and Mike Collins leading the local group to the Mossy Quinlivan Bridge in the age old tradition. Songs were sung by Timmy Lehane and Coireall Mac Curtain before the final march from the bridge by the group.
The captains of the three adult camogie teams, Karen Mullane, Rachel Lacey and Bridget Downes joined the camogie contingent as they gave out spot prizes for their raffle with many donations from locals including some lovely treats from the Limerick Hurling camp by none other than Mary Ita O’Connor whose nephew Séamus Flanagan has been a huge supporter.
All gathered for the mulled wine, tea and treats provided by the great women behind the hospitality group. Everything was gone by 6.30pm handing them the highest compliment.
As the crowds left, the solar and battery powered lights lit up the Mossy Quinlivan Bridge and the floating Island leaving a real Christmas scene behind them. The scenes have been captured by Suzanne Houlihan Geary and can be seen in Killeedy Eco Park Facebook page.
Thanks to all who brought such light into these dark winter days. Lights at Twilight 2 at Killeedy Eco Park was an outstanding success.