It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Rathpeacon as the Christmas tree lights were turned on last night.
The event was livestreamed on the Rathpeacon GAA Facebook page and Rathpeacon Community Facebook page as members of the local community organisations came together to light the tree and bring some Christmas cheer to the area.
Rathpeacon G.A.A. Chairman Éamon Hawe was delighted with the wider Rathpeacon community coming together during the COVID crisis.
“We are hopeful that the end of the pandemic is in sight and on behalf of Rathpeacon G.A.A., I would like to wish everyone a safe and peaceful Christmas.” he said.
The tree, on display in front of the National School, was decorated by some of the residents on Saturday evening.
Due to Covid restrictions, not everybody in Rathpeacon could go but the event was livestreamed so that the kids and parents at home could watch the lights go on and hear from some members of the organisations present.
Rathpeacon Community Association Spokesperson Irene Farrell opened proceedings, thanking local councillors for their help with all the improvements to the area over the last year, including the new footpath from the school down to Farm Power.
She said, “We’ve missed the business and activities in the hall with it having to close but we look forward to bright things in the area in 2021.”
Rathpeacon G.A.A. Secretary and star midfielder Cormac O’Neill praised the club volunteers, spoke about the challenging year ahead and implored the boys and girls of Rathpeacon to be nice to their parents this Christmas!
He said, “This has been a challenging year as everybody knows but week after week our volunteers and members show up to help with training and everything to do with the pitch.
“2021 is not going to get any easier. The numbers that we have at training, young kids coming from the school here continue to grow. As our numbers grow we will need more volunteers so please, if you’re interested reach out.
“Christmas is also for the grownups, so be nice to your Mum, your Dad, your Granny, your Grandad, your brother, your sister. They’ve had a tough year too.”
He added, “Hopefully next year we’ll all be here in person underneath this tree.”
Rathpeacon National School Principal Susanna O’Neill spoke about the lift she and the schoolchildren got from seeing the Christmas tree being put into the garden at the front of the school.
She said, “To the children, when we see you tomorrow coming in, the lights will be on and we know that already Christmas is on the way.”
Mrs. O’Neill gave school caretaker Con O’Sullivan the final word before the Christmas lights were turned on. Con is adored by all the kids and is also a selector on the Rathpeacon Junior B teams.
Con paid tribute to the late Abi Mcgeough, who tragically passed away earlier this year. Abi was a student at the school and was an inspiration to all who met her.
“I would ask everybody to remember her particularly at this time of year.
“I’m sure she’s up in Heaven with the angels keeping an eye out for all of us.
“I wish Abi’s mother and Grnadparents a joyful and peaceful Christmas.”
Con also praised the kids of Rathpeacon National School.
“The kids here are the most important part of the school.
“I’m really thrilled that I got this job a few years ago. It gave me 360-odd little friends who are brilliant little friends to have and put a smile on my face every minute of the day.
“There is no doubt that every child in Rathpeacon is on Santa’s good list.”
Well, if the Late Late Toy Show didn’t make you cry on Friday night then Con’s lovely words will probably do the job.
If you’d like to see the small speeches made by Irene, Cormac, Susanna and Con and see the magic moment the tree lit up then head over to the Facebook pages mentioned above.
Special mention must go to Terence McCarthy who ensured that all went smoothly on the night. Also to Ruby O’Riordan who minded my camera tripod that I couldn’t get to work after a lot of fuss!
I think we all need Christmas cheer this year so here’s to a great month and a magical Christmas.