‘Putting the bright side out’
Malcolm Gargan is the self-appointed “fixer” to the Bailieborough Christmas Lights Committee. “When a light gets broke, or has to be put up, I’ll be around some place. But other than that I like to stay in the shadows a bit,” he says, laughing at the irony of his own statement.
The local group, which ensures that Bailieborough is always looking its best and brightest during the most festive time of year, has elected a new chair for 2021 in PJ Barry, with Caroline Clarke supporting him as secretary, and Peadar Clerkin serving as treasurer.
Malcolm, meanwhile, will be involved in putting up the lights, which started last week, and will continue through into next.
“Last year we rewired the whole street, where the Garda Station is, on a permanent supply with timer switches as well. So now we can just set them to go on and off certain times.”
Following the pandemic, and with so many local community organisations pushed to the pin of their collar though lack of fundraising, it has proven to be a thrifty move by the Bailieborough Committee.
“It saves money, as well as time. We’ve been very conscious over the years of how to bring down our costs, trying to save on repairs as well.”
The hope is that the big switch on will take place by the end of the month, or at the very latest, in early December.
“You always switch them on for that time of year. I think it’s important that the town gets at least four good weeks in the run up to Christmas when the street is lit up and looking its festive best.”
Malcolm states that the committee has set aside plans for any major overhaul of its lighting until next year, with the intention for 2022 to host a bigger fundraiser and at a time when many businesses will hopefully have found their feet again in a post-Covid environment.
“This is the first year back for a lot of businesses really, so we’re very aware of that. The council as well have always been very generous to us, giving a grant of up to €3,000. We’ll invest next year in lower voltage, and newer features - a leaner, greener Christmas.”
For a detailed Christmas feature on Bailieborough Town, see this week's print edition of The Anglo-Celt.