Yellow ribbons in memory of lost loved ones in Mountmellick. Photo courtesy of Cathy Bishop
Hundreds of special yellow ribbons are covering the railings in O'Connell Square Mountmellick this Christmas, for hundreds of special reasons.
The town loves its special 65 foot artificial Christmas tree, and along with the tree, the streetlights will be officially switched on tonight Friday November 30, at 8pm.
To help cover the cost of the lightbulbs strung throughout the town, the Christmas Street Lights committee came up with a bright idea, to ask people to sponsor a yellow bulb for €5, in memory of their loved ones. In return the committee would tie up a yellow ribbon and bow with each name handwritten on them, to stay up throughout the festive season.
Rosemary Whelan chairperson said they were overwhelmed with people wanting to take part, with ribbons sponsored from as far as Australia.
"We are overwhelmed by the generosity of people and by the success of the 'Sponsor a Light' initiative. We would like to thank every one who contributed to the fundraiser and to the volunteers who helped collect money, volunteered in Supervalu and battled the cold to hang up the ribbons last night! We are a small town but we've a wonderful community with lots of heart," she said.
The majority of ribbons have been hung up and the remainder will be put up on Monday evening.
"It was a wonderful idea and thank you to everyone who helped bring the idea to life," Ms Whelan added.
It has raised about €2,500 toward the cost of the lights, with longlife bulbs carefully chosen to last for many years to come.
Local snapper Cathy Bishop posted these photographs today showing the square resplendent in its bright ribbons, each one carefully displaying the names of loved ones.
"Rosemary and team the square looks STUNNING X Fair play to all" she wrote.
Mountmellick Christmas Fair takes place this Sunday December 2 from 1pm to 6pm. See drone footage of the fair here.