A COMPLAINT about the positioning of the Christmas lights on Tulla’s Main Street has led to them being removed by the ESB.
The move has caused great disappointment, after the local Tidy Towns group invested time and money installing the lights in the same position they have been in for a decade.
Local man Brendan Worsfold, a retired Tidy Towns volunteer, was among those to express dismay at the situation, suggesting that a ‘Grinch’ had put a damper on the festive season.
“This is part of an annual display which has been going on for years and added to with new decorations each year,” he said.
“It adds to the festive season and brightens up a dull winter. The lights have been going up like this for ten or more years and there has never been a problem.”
Mr Worsfold said the ESB has seemed “very apologetic” about the situation, but explained they had to act on the complaint.
Tim Humphries of Tulla Tidy Towns confirmed that the group has been forced to find an alternative arrangement and that Main Street is without its traditional festive illuminations in the meantime.
“Recently a band of 12 plus volunteers, including qualified electricians spent two and a half days hanging the lights in Tulla, as we have done for years previously,” Mr Humphries explained.
“The ESB notified us of a complaint lodged with photographs of the installation and that the lights were being removed the next day by them.
“This meant at least two volunteers had to take leave from their work to be there to gather the lights as they came down.
“The cost of these lights alone runs into the thousands, fundraised between grant aid and local fundraising or donations, over many years, so naturally we wanted to preserve them for future use.”
Mr Humphries confirmed to The Champion that there was no question of the lights drawing any electricity from the poles.
“The supply of power was not at fault either,” he said.
“As has been the case for many years, this was donated through the goodwill of residents and businesses along Main Street.”
Mr Humphries described the group as “very disappointed” at the complaint.
“Perhaps engagement with us may have found an alternative solution,” he said.
Alternative options are now being explored, but will require the co-operation of homes and businesses on Main Street.
“With the goodwill of locals along Main Street, we have undertaken, at additional expense and time, to have bespoke brackets made and installed that will carry the festive lights, for years to come, hopefully,” Mr Humphries said.
Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald.
Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti.
She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at The University of Galway.
If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at email@example.com or telephone 065 6864146.