A Limerick pensioner has started work to retain a national title that will send his electricity bill skyrocketing at a time of unprecedented energy prices.
But Tony Noonan is determined to put on a show at any cost.
His bungalow in Tullig North, Templeglantine, County Limerick, has been voted best private home in the country three times for its lighting.
“I am not put off by the expected increase in power consumption. It’s full steam ahead for us from now on to get the lights ready for the big switch-on next November,” said Mr Noonan.
The 66-year-old has already started to unwind around 1,500 meters of cable, which he will drape over the house and the surrounding hedges.
“I’m going to have to bury a certain amount, so there’s a lot of work involved,” he said. “When the cable is complete, I unpack over 5,000 lightbulbs that have been carefully stored since last year.
“I didn’t compete in the best lit house competition last year, so I’m determined to win the title back. All work is checked by a qualified electrician.
“And one night this year other champions will be visiting my champion address as Limerick hurling goalie Nickie Quaid has promised to bring the Liam MacCarthy Cup and David Clifford will bring Sam.
“Last year the bill for seven weeks of light was around 1,200 euros. The bill for the house is separate.
“Who knows what will come out this year – it could be 5,000 or 6,000 euros for the lighting alone.
“But this is the 25th year I’ve been doing it and the thousands who saw the lights last year donated more than €30,000 to the various charities I donate to.
“All money goes to charity. I estimate my lights have raised around €400,000 over the years for Milford Hospice, Alzheimer’s, Suicide Watch, Brothers of Charity and many more.
“The icing on the Christmas cake is the award for the house with the best Christmas light show in the whole country.”
Tony lives with his wife Hannah and their disabled daughter Siobhan, 42, who attends the Brothers of Charity daytime service in Foynes.
He said: “Motorists passing the Devon Inn on the Abbeyfeale to Newcastle West road can see the lights when they stop, but most come and drive into the yard to get a full sense of what I see do.
“I am very satisfied when I see the astonishment on people’s faces, especially the children. No electric bill will deter me.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/it-takes-5000-bulbs-and-15km-of-cable-but-energy-costs-wont-dim-my-charity-christmas-lights-show-41967445.html “It takes 5,000 lightbulbs and 1.5km of wire – but the energy costs won’t put a damper on my charity Christmas light show.”