25 November 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan Town’s rising star of the contemporary music scene, singer-songwriter Ryan Sheridan, radiated celebrity charisma to rival the brilliance of the Christmas lighting array he formally brought into dazzling display before a pulsating crowd estimated to be in the region of six thousand people in the centre of the county capital on Sunday afternoon last.
The big switch-on of the festive illuminations in the town was the culmination of an afternoon of entertainment and attraction enjoyed by an unprecedented gathering of local people and visitors who thronged the main thoroughfares of Monaghan to enjoy the Chamber of Commerce and Town Council-organised event.
For many the highlight of the occasion was encapsulated in both the performance and presence of the local town troubadour whose current ascendant fortunes in the Irish entertainment world have made him one of the outstanding Monaghan success stories of recent times.
The reception afforded Ryan Sheridan was as noisy and uninhibited as that generated by any pop star of enhanced profile, but it had the added depth of warmth and pride in a local man’s success that made the occasion an emotional homecoming of sorts for the busy musician and his family and friends.
The lasting legacy of Sunday’s occasion is a town-wide garland of vividly illumined decoration that was highly praised at Monday night’s meeting of Monaghan Town Council as a Christmas lighting display to rival that on view in any town across Europe.
Council Cathaoirleach David Maxwell expressed thanks at the meeting to the Chamber of Commerce and the Town Council’s own staff for staging such a fine switch-on of the town’s Christmas lighting scheme.
He also remarked on the reception that was afforded on the occasion to musician Ryan Sheridan, who was “one of our own” and a man reared in Killygoan. It was humbling to be from Monaghan when witnessing the reception that Ryan got from the crowd, the Cathaoirleach told the meeting, adding that he had spoken to Ryan’s mother and father after the event and their pride was very evident and great to see.
Congratulating the Monaghan Gospel Choir on their performance at the event, the Cathaoirleach stated: “It was a truly great evening for Monaghan Town.”
Paul McGeown thanked all the volunteer young people who gave up their whole afternoon for free to assist at the event. He also paid tribute to the contribution made by the Gardai and Civil Defence.
Robbie Gallagher also congratulated all those involved in organising the event, which he believed had attracted a crowd of between 6,000-7,000 people.
Sean Conlon said that the joint efforts of Monaghan Chamber of Commerce and Monaghan Town Council showed that the partnership approach, when energy was thoroughly channelled, could yield excellent results. It was a great gesture for Ryan Sheridan to take time off from his schedule to come back to his hometown for the occasion – he was certainly a local boy done well.
Tommy Hagan praised the efficacy of the health and safety measures which were put in place to ensure that the event went off smoothly.
Seamus Treanor said that it made one “stand in awe” to look at the Christmas lights in full illumination – it made the town look brilliant-looking. Colr Treanor also predicated comparable public interest when Ryan Sheridan performed in the local Hillgrove Hotel shortly.
Donal Sherry said he was somewhat disappointed that the Town Council Cathaoirleach didn’t get to share the honour with Ryan Sheridan of switching on the lights.
Colr Sherry thought that the Council should write to Ryan and his parents conveying their appreciation for his presence at the event.
“The boys in Killygoan used to have a reputation for putting the lights out,” Colr Sherry added humorously.
Pádraigín Uí Mhurchadha described Sunday’s switch-on as a wonderful event, one of the best of its kind she had ever seen in Monaghan. She remarked on the air of elation generated by Ryan Sheridan’s presence. “We are so proud of him,” she added.
The Cathaoirleach agreed that the town looked absolutely magnificent. When someone remarked to him on Sunday evening how beautiful the town was looking, he told him that this was where pay-parking had got Monaghan – ever penny raised by the pay-parking regime had been reinvested in the town.
Remarking on various expenditure that had taken place in the town in recent times, the Cathaoirleach said the Diamond was now on a par with any European town. He also pointed out that in 2004 the town had no Christmas lights.
Town Manager David Fallon said he had been at a recent meeting of City and County Managers and Chief Executives of City Councils in Northern Ireland and a few of those present had commented on how well Monaghan was looking.
Mr Fallon complimented the Town Council staff and Chamber of Commerce representatives involved in organising Sunday’s event.

Comments are closed.