Ireland's Tallest Christmas Tree To Be Unveiled Today

Thursday, December 10th 2009

Limerick’s 100ft eco-friendly Christmas tree will be launched on the River Shannon tonight (Thursday) ahead of the eagerly anticipated Munster v Perpignan clash in Thomond Park Stadium this weekend.

Limerick’s 100ft (30.5m) 'green' tree is made from salvaged steel from major local building projects, including the re-development of Thomond Park and the Shannon Tunnel. It was designed by White Young Greene Consulting Engineers.

The unveiling of the tree was delayed after three of its sections were slightly damaged during adverse weather and high tides last month.

A group of stakeholders involved in the repair of the tree met yesterday and after a thorough health and safety examination, it was agreed that the tree be placed on the River Shannon at Howley’s Quay and lit from 6pm tonight, Thursday, December 10th.

A team from local firm Speedline Engineering who constructed the tree worked on a voluntary basis to repair the three damaged sections.

Ray O’Halloran, Speedline Engineering explained: “There was very little damage to the tree as it is built in such a way that it can be re-bolstered together easily, much like Mechano. There has been a huge voluntary effort to save the tree; people gave a lot of their time for free. Even the pontoons that the tree sits on were donated by Hegarty Recycling who provided the metal for the project.

In Speedline Engineering we didn’t charge to put the structure on the pontoons and we’re delighted that Ireland’s tallest tree is back on the River Shannon for everyone to admire this Christmas.”

A spokesman for Limerick City Council said the costs of repair were very minimal and that the 100% recycled tree is excellent value for money when compared with other Irish cities.

Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kevin Kiely, said the city’s Christmas Lights and 100ft floating Christmas tree are particularly environmentally friendly this year.

“All the main features of the city’s beautiful Christmas decorations are powered by low energy, low voltage bulbs which represents a huge energy saving,” he explained. “This means there will be a 75% saving on the running costs on the city’s bridges alone where there are almost 4000 LED bulbs. And it’s fitting that the tree will be erected just in time for the Munster v Perpignan game in Thomond Park when thousands of visitors to our city can admire it.”

Aswell as Limerick’s floating tree, a number of real Christmas trees have been erected in the city centre to create a festive atmosphere in O’Connell Street, William Street and a Remembrance Tree at Bedford Row. Limerick City Council is also offering free on street parking on Friday and Saturday afternoons during December from 2pm up to and including December 19th.

Last update:10/12/2009