Christmas arrives in Dublin city centre

Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn switches the lights on O’Connell Street tree

Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Oisin Quinn, pictured with Richard Guiney of Dublintown.ie, switched on the lights of the Christmas tree in O’Connell St. last nightPhotograph: Dave Meehan

Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Oisin Quinn, pictured with Richard Guiney of Dublintown.ie, switched on the lights of the Christmas tree in O’Connell St. last nightPhotograph: Dave Meehan

Sun, Nov 24, 2013, 20:10

Although there’s still a month to go to the big day, it’s officially Christmas in the capital following the switching on of the Christmas tree lights on Dublin’s O’Connell Street.

Santa and his elves brought Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn from the Mansion House to O’Connell Street last night in a one horse open sleigh to flip the switch.

The lights went on a 6pm following an afternoon of entertainment which included music from the Army Band, St Andrew Choir, LGS Gospel Singers , and the Halleluia Gospel Choir, and a performance from the Monica Loughman Ballet Group.

A record breaking number of “geansaí Nollaigs” was also on display with 857 participants and spectators wearing favourite Christmas jumpers, some 300 more than the previous record, also held by Dublin.

Collections were made for the Mansion House Fuel Fund, one of Dublin’s oldest charities, which is administered by charities including Dublin Simon Community and St Vincent de Paul.

“Dublin has something for everyone in the run up to the Christmas season and I hope to see many of you in Dublin city over the next few weeks for what is always a magical time in our city,” Mr Quinn, who wore a Rudolf geansaí, said.

Richard Guiney, chief executive of Dublin City Business Improvement District said the coming weeks were the most important for the city in terms of trade.

“Thirty to 40 per cent of annual turnover is made in the five weeks running up to Christmas. We are a week to 10 days into it now and confidence has been high so far, so hopefully we’re in line for a good Christmas.”

Mr Guiney urged people to come into town during the festive season to enjoy what the city centre has to offer. “Even if people are not shopping or going to restaurants, come in and soak up the atmosphere and see the lights.”

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