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A shining example of community spirit

Cavan Town is preparing a mantle of festive sparkle as a parade of tractors, cars, vans, bikes and trucks, each illuminated with fairy lights prepare to roll into town again on Sunday, December 16, from 4.30pm.

Last year's event was the biggest and brightest to date, with more than 200 vehicles of all shapes and sizes involved. Raising close to €16,000, the sight of the record breaking Christmas cavalcade, stretching back almost five kilometres, and counting over 40,000 Christmas lights, will live long in the memory of many.

Once again starting out from the Cavan Equestrian Centre, the Christmas Lights parade will follow a route through Main Street and passes the Remembrance tree at Cavan Courthouse, which allows people to put a personal message for loved ones who have died both at home and abroad.

Now in its seventh year, the Vincent McGee Benefit Fund Run has raised in excess of €100,000 for various chosen local charities, from 4 Little Jakes Sake to the Debra Drury Fund, and the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust.

This year's chosen charity is the Aisling Brady Fund, in aid of the young Trim woman who suffered multiple cardiac arrests and a stroke while teaching in the United Arab Emirates last year.

Aisling was in the process prepping for her morning class when she fainted, hitting her head on the floor. It transpired that a pulmonary embolism (clot) had, unbeknownst to Aisling, formed in her leg over a long period of time. Its movement caused serious damage to the brain and, combined with the total of twelve minutes of hypoxia, left Aisling’s cardio-vascular system and brain very weak.

One of the tractor run organisers, Kevin Smith told The Anglo-Celt: “[Aisling] is a young teacher from trim, but her family are proud Kill people. Aisling who was teaching in Dubai and suffered an acquired brain injury. Aisling is now back in hospital in Dublin and recovering well. We hope to be able to help to cover some of the costs in associate with her going home and get the treatment she needs. We thank Aisling's family for allowing us to help out.”

Kevin added the hope that 2018's run will be even “bigger and brighter” than before, with a number of different things organised to happen during the parade. “Even special guests will be there,” said Kevin, while keeping tight-lipped on who they might be.

Thanking both An Garda Siochana and the Clarke family for the use of the equestrian centre, Kevin added: “It's a family day so please come out to Cavan town and enjoy the evening.”

One of the most hotly anticipated tractor runs of the year, entry fee €20 and registration takes place from 1pm at the Equestrian Centre, where help will be provided to decorate the vehicles if necessary. However, it is advisable to decorate prior to arrival due to time restrictions.

A limited number of lights are still available, these are €20, which will be returned if the lights are returned in full working order. Anyone who has ordered lights will need to collect them before 2pm on the day.

All vehicles need to be decorated in Christmas lights, starting at 4:30pm.

Refreshments and entertainment for all in the Equestrian Centre.