By Helen Broderick

For almost twenty years, Noonan’s have lit up the night sky with their annual Christmas wonderland of lights and by doing so they have raised thousands and thousands of euros for local charities while giving enjoyment to both young and old.
The home has won two All-Ireland titles in Energia’s Most Christmassy home first back in 2016, and runners up in 2017, and again being crowned champions in last year’s competition. Tony Noonan told me “I always say that none of this would have been possible without the generosity of all the good people that support us. It’s a result of all this support that has made Noonan’s Christmas Lights the event it is, and with the kind support of our many sponsors” The Noonan family can indeed be proud of the work that they’ve done and the effort that has been made to raise much needed funds for local charities. But it’s with great sadness and regret that Tony explained why the event could not go ahead this year.
“In March of this year, everything changed with the arrival of Covid 19. The pandemic has changed so many things in this great country of ours. People have lost loved ones and have been unable to be with them in their final hours” Tony said sadly. “It has just been heart-breaking. To all who are now in hospital, we wish them a speedy recovery, and with God’s help, better days ahead.”
Tony went on “Since we started our Christmas Lights for Charity, we’ve survived all types of weather, wind, rain, hail and snowstorms. But the show always went on, even though at times it wasn’t easy. But it’s with a heavy heart, and in compliance of government and HSE guidelines, we are sad to announce that this year, our annual Christmas Lights for Charity event will not go ahead , just another event to fall foul of Covid 19”. Tony has also taken on board advice from local representatives and the Gardaí. “To say we’re disappointed is an understatement. We’re simply gutted for all concerned. But we must put the health and safety of our supporters, our neighbours and our friends first and foremost.” The family must also take into consideration the underlying and vulnerable health condition of their only daughter, Siobhán, who suffers from Rett Syndrome. Added to that is the fact that for the seven weeks running up to Christmas every year, extra public liability insurance was in place to cover every eventuality during the Christmas Lights for Charity event. “This year, our insurers have advised us that Covid is not insurable and we accept this decision. We hope that our loyal supporters, friends and neighbours will fully understand why we have had to take this decision”
The Noonan family are saddened to think that people, especially children may naturally be disappointed about their decision. However, current restrictions do not allow for any visitors to homes or gardens, and it is unknown when these restrictions may be eased. But the family are concerned too that their charities, who always benefitted greatly from the event, may feel the loss of funds, particularly this year when fundraising events are practically non-existent. So, they have decided to try to mitigate the loss by hosting a Gofundme event on the “Noonan’s Christmas Lights” Facebook page. Full details of this will be announced in the near future, and people will be asked to donate, no matter how big or small a sum, to continue the support of the local charities, which is so important to them. This event will be promoted by some of our sporting heroes like Nicky Quaid, Iain Corbett and more. In a final message for his supporters, Tony had this to say:
“This has been an incredibly hard decision for us to make as a Family, but Health and Safety is our priority at all times. Don’t worry, Please God we’ll be back in November 2021 doing what together we do best, lighting up the night sky for charity. Many thanks to you all from a very disappointed Tony Noonan and Family. Stay safe”.
We wish the Noonan family every success with their event, and hopefully we can all get behind the fundraiser in a true spirit of Christmas.