Ennis is set to host the second annual Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship on January 5, it has been announced.
All proceeds raised during the contest, which is organised by Ennis Town Council and Clare County Council, will go toward the Clare branch of Cystic Fibrosis.
The event, which is based on age-old lumberjack traditions commonplace across Germany and Austria, will see members of the public competing to determine the Irish distance record for throwing a standard 1.5m tree.
The inaugural event in January this year was won by Clare man Paul Dignam, who beat off competition from 150 other participants with his 7m throw.
The current world record is held by Klaus Pubnaz, who hurled a tree a distance of 12m at an event in Germany in December 2010.
Gerry Murphy, environmental awareness officer with Ennis Town Council, described the competition as a novel way to turn Christmas tree recycling into a sport, while at the same time raising funds for a needy cause.
“This is a sporting charity event with competitors from the four corners of Ireland being invited to take part. The event is open to men, women and children and each contestant will get three attempts at throwing their used Christmas tree,” he said.
He added, “Disposing of the Christmas tree is often an arduous task for many so this event allows people to do so in style and with relative ease. The council will be providing a free Christmas tree recycling service at various locations throughout County Clare but we would welcome anyone who wishes to drop their tree at the contest and make a donation towards the Clare Branch of Cystic Fibrosis. We will arrange for the tree to be mulched for use by the council’s gardening section.”
Kieran McCarthy, chairperson of the Clare branch of Cystic Fibrosis, commented, “We are delighted the council has selected us as its chosen charity. 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.”
The Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship takes place on Saturday, January 5 between 10am and 4pm at Lees Road Sports and Amenity Park.