Famous Christmas tree saved for Laois town

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Famous Christmas tree saved for Laois town

Maintenance work underway at Mountmellick Christmas tree this Tuesday October 21

A Laois town has managed to save their Christmas tree, after a phenomenal response to a public fundraiser.

Mountmellick's 65 foot tall tree was in jeopardy when the lifelong committee disbanded last month, over the age of members and the lack of opportunity to do their usual street fundraisers due to Covid restrictions.

However more local people quickly came together and began an online fundraiser with the big target of €20,000 to secure the future of the tree for the next two years.

Big donations came from near and far, from hard pressed businesses as well as Mountmellick people around the globe with fond memories of the tree and 'Santa in the Hall'. 

The new committee announced their success on Tuesday evening October 20.

"We set the bar high. We know we did. We pushed the boat out. We know we did. We reached for the stars. We know we did. We know that €20,000 is a huge sum of money.
We are so sorry to announce that we didn’t manage to raise it………WE RAISED MORE!!!!
Mountmellick, take a bow. In fact, take 25,039 bows- that's one bow for each euro, because that is what the total amount raised is! Yessssss!
We are a little overcome with gratitude but we do know one thing: Mountmellick strikes again. The people have spoken. Thank you.

The committee is very hopeful that the tree will be lit this year, despite the Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions that start tonight.

The work underway today involves the removal of the star on top of the tree for maintenance work. 

The tree is made from a metal structure that is covered with intricate sequenced lights and real branches, with a lifesize crib underneath.

A Christmas tree has stood in the town square for over 60 years, and now is destined to shine again this Christmas.

Watch an edited history documentary of the tree below, featuring interviews with some of the local volunteers.