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CLARE COUNTY COUNCIL remain determined they will not have to switch off Christmas lights this winter despite ongoing efforts to keep down energy costs.

As part of the Government’s latest energy saving plans, it has been reported nationally that local authorities have been given the green light to consider leaving festive lights switched off to cut back on energy costs over the Christmas period as prices continue to soar.

In Clare, the local authority remains determined to plough on with decorative lights to mark the festive season.

Planning is underway for the Christmas in Ennis festival and staff within the Ennis Municipal District wish “to include Christmas lights as normal”. A spokesperson for the local authority told The Clare Echo, “However, we will continue to review the situation in light of any Government guidelines in relation to energy conservation”.

Families from across the county have attended the Christmas in Ennis festival prior to restrictions on crowds due to the pandemic with the atmosphere created savoured by young and old.

Festive lighting has been managed in the Shannon Town Park for the past two years by the Shannon Municipal District. The lighting in the amenity is new and will have a smaller energy requirement thus limiting the potential curtailment this winter.

“In that time, we have introduced the town’s first public Christmas lighting along with other festive themed events. Our intention is to expand the lighting further this year. As the lighting is recent, it complies with current energy requirements and has a lower energy demand. Shannon MD is aware of the possible energy supply issues referred to and will be considering the duration of the light display, along with the hours run, closer to the festive period, allowing for the most up to date information to be utilised in this decision-making process,” the spokesperson added.

Christmas lighting across the Killaloe Municipal District “is community driven for the most part,” the Council acknowledged. “We are not responsible for the setting up or control of the same in the MD”. Therefore the decision on whether Christmas lights will be erected in East Clare will be made by local community groups.

Similarly, the West Clare Municipal District are “not directly responsible for Christmas lights that are installed in the MD but support various Community Groups where required each year. The West Clare MD will again engage with local Councillors and Community groups on considering the current energy situation when managing Christmas lights this year”.

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