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*Santa during a visit to Shannon in 2018. Photograph: Joe Buckley

In a bid to create a stronger identity for Shannon Town, plans are being put in place to develop a series of Christmas events for 2021.

Shannon Town Park has been earmarked as the most suitable location for helping to foster this sense of community spirit in the town.

An appeal for an official Christmas tree and turning on of the lights event to be organised by Clare County Council was tabled by Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) at Tuesday’s meeting of the Shannon Municipal District.

She asked that this begin in December 2021 and continue for every year thereafter. “I feel that it is something that is needed in the park for the people to take ownership of the park and something like this will help create a sense of that ownership. Having watched the video on YouTube of carols and Santa in the park bandstand, I have to commend those that with short notice created this for those to watch at home and abroad and felt it would be good for community spirit to continue this,” she stated.

Provided the support is forthcoming from the people of Shannon, it is intended to build on the success of the carolling event and the installation of seasonal lighting at the park, senior executive engineer Tom Mellett confirmed. “The Shannon Town Masterplan will be delivered during 2021 and it is anticipated that it will further inform how we can strengthen the sense of place in Shannon Town”.

Family members all around the world watched the events from the Town Park on YouTube, Cllr McGettigan outlined. “It was great to see positive stories coming out from the Park because it has had its negatives. We need something positive every year and we need to take ownership. SkyCourt is privately owned, the Town Park is for the people and it should be the location for Christmas lights”.

Recalling his time on Shannon Town Council, Cllr Gerry Flynn paid tribute to the individuals on the body and Clare County Council for putting a green infrastructure plan together which included the Town Park. “I hope we can develop a partnership with the new Town Centre owners. We do need the identity,” he added.

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