MORE than 360 people participated in the second annual Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship held at Lees Road Sports and Amenity Facility, Ennis at the weekend.
The fundraising event, which is based on age-old lumberjack traditions and is commonplace across Germany and Austria, saw members of the public compete to determine the Irish distance record for throwing a standard 1.5m tree.
John O’Dea from Cappamore in County Limerick secured a new Irish record and the championship title after he threw a Christmas tree a distance of 10.2m, beating fellow competitor Sean Jaffray’s (Scotland) effort by just 0.3m. Norah Murphy won the ladies’ title with her throw of 6.3m, while the U-12 section was won by Soran Drayas (9.2m) and Aoife O’Gara (7.86m).
All proceeds raised during the contest, which was organised by Ennis Town Council and Clare County Council, went to the Clare branch of Cystic Fibrosis.
According to Joan Tarmey, environmental awareness officer, Clare County Council, “We were delighted with the turnout at the weekend. Competitors hailed from as far afield as Oregan, Ontario, Slovakia, Scotland, Brisbane, and all over Ireland. Disposing of the Christmas tree is often an arduous task for many so this event allowed people to do so in style. The council will continue to provide a free Christmas tree recycling service at various locations throughout County Clare.”
Kieran McCarthy, chairperson of the Clare branch of Cystic Fibrosis paid tribute to everyone who contributed to our organisation at the weekend. The funds raised will complement the generous donations already received from the people of Clare during 2012. All money raised will be invested locally in the delivery of services, which include sponsoring the purchase of exercise equipment for persons with Cystic Fibrosis, counselling and support services, and providing taxi services to and from the hospital. We also make a contribution to the Tipperary, Limerick and Clare for Cystic Fibrosis (TLC4CF) charity,” he said.