27 November 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

An atmosphere of authentic festive bonhomie reigned in the centre of Monaghan Town on a crisp Sunday afternoon last as thousands assembled to enjoy the switch-on of the county capital’s Christmas lighting scheme.

Monaghan’s own Tommy Bowe got a reception as raucous and rapturous as any that had greeted him in his glittering international rugby union career as he stepped forward to do the honours in company with the Cathaoirleach of the Monaghan Municipal District, Colr Robbie Gallagher.

Tommy professed himself moved and taken aback by the warmth of the welcome he received, with the green of Irish international jerseys rivalling the Christmassy regalia as the fashion choice of the legion of young fans who had gathered before the Church Square stage to cheer their hero on. The huge family attendance had much to divert them prior to the climax of the afternoon’s programme. A range of amusements and attractions turned the town centre area into a Yuletide carnival that had all the flavour of a Christmas card scene.

As Ireland’s biggest inflatable Snowman looked on from a height that rivalled that of the Monaghan Courthouse building that was his station, Northern Sound’s Sean McCaffrey stoked the atmosphere up to fever pitch as he introduced a range of musical performers who captured the essence of the occasion perfectly with a range of carols and Christmas airs.

The arrival of Santa Claus brought the crowd to the perfect level of joyous anticipation for the big moment when the illuminations that garlanded the main trading thoroughfares of Monaghan flashed brilliantly to life at Tommy Bowe’s deft touch.

The significant trading boost bestowed by the crowds on local businesses served as a positive augury for what the town commercial sector are anticipating will be a lucrative few weeks of business ahead, with a big push being made to attract shoppers from nearby Northern towns because of the current highly favourable currency differential.


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