07 Dec 2021

'We will have Mountrath lit up like Vegas' as calendar girls fundraiser suspense builds

'We will have Mountrath lit up like Vegas' as calendar girls fundraiser suspense builds

Lynda Deegan, Celine Cripps and Colette Phelan at the turning on of the Christmas lights in Mountrath, organisers of the calendar girls fundraiser this year Picture: Alf Harvey

Suspense is building in Mountrath for an exciting fundraiser where 12 local ladies have bared all for the ‘classy and a little bit cheeky’ calendar.

All will be revealed at the calendar launch night next Saturday when the town will come together to see the identities of the brave ladies who have had the courage to bare all for the sake of the community. 

The proceeds from the calendar sales will go to the Mountrath Christmas lights fund and committee member Colette Phelan said the response has been fantastic so far.

“We really hope people get out on the night and buy the calendar for the big reveal - we will have Mountrath lit up like Vegas come December! 

“They are 12 fabulous ladies from the town and they all embraced the idea. They are local and well known, all the pictures were done discretely in town with slippers and a dressing gown on hand over a couple of Sundays. 

“One of the days was lovely out and on the other, there was a fair wind blowing! I cannot praise the women involved enough, they completely embraced it and there were no divas.

“The girls did it in good spirit and it was good fun. During one of the shoots, three ladies were ready for their photograph in a Main Street shop window getting their picture taken early on a quiet Sunday morning when a chap walked up the road and answered the phone right outside the window! 

“The women froze solid as he talked on the phone about what time dinner was at and getting bread and milk in the shop. He walked on then and they breathed a sigh of relief he never saw them, if he had have turned his head at all it would have been a different story! 

“It was all a bit of craic and the feedback from the girls has been great everyone is enjoying the suspense, there is lots of guessing going on as to who they are but there are very few correct guesses so far. 

“They are all well-known there are no strangers in it. The reason behind all the fun is to maintain and replace our lovely Christmas lights. We are doing it 10 years this year and bulbs go all the time, they have to be replaced, it is an unbelievable cost and the ESB boxes it is an ongoing thing. 

“We were struggling for years with cake sales and discos raising a couple of hundred here and there but we are hoping that this will be different, this is something that no community in Laois has ever done before,” she said. 

The exciting calendar launch night will be held in Eddie Kirwan's Pub, Mountrath on Saturday, September 21 at 9 pm where the big unveiling of models will take place.

The committee has promised it will be a night of great fun with entertainment from local artists and the evening with be hosted by their special guest Claire Byrne.

Mountrath woman and RTÉ's Prime Time presenter Claire Byrne first switched on the lights ten years ago and was happy to return as a special guest this weekend to acknowledge a decade of Christmas lights brightening the town.

"Ten years ago when we started I asked Claire Byrne to switch on our lights and she did.

“At the start of summer, I contacted her to let her known that it was ten years ago and invited her back to acknowledge that and she agreed immediately and came on board. 

“She is a local, she gets the town, it is a small rural town with so many great things happening in all the local clubs and with fundraisers,” she said. 

The calendars will be on sale the night of the launch for €10 each. All local support welcome.

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