WHAT started off with some small outdoor lights at their home 35 years ago this Christmas, has grown into something entirely different for Donal and Peggy O’Callaghan from Codrum, Macroom.
Their annual outdoor Christmas lights display attracts onlookers from all over the county every Christmas while at the same time they are also helping to raise funds for local charities.
‘I’d say I was one of the first in Ireland to put up lights outside the house 35 years ago and it just seemed to grow and grow each year and I added more lights each year,’ Donal told The Southern Star. ‘We’ve been doing this for charities though for the last 17 years and each year people come to see the lights display and donate money to the box at the gate.
‘We’re raising money this year for Marymount Hospice and we’ve raised thousands of euro for various charities down through the years.’
Not one to rest on his laurels with the same lights each year, Donal tweaks the spectacular display annually and this year added laser lights, which his daughter brought back from America for him.
These days he uses a lot of led lights, which cuts the cost of electricity that he uses and he buys a lot of the lights in America.
Donal even has Santa and his reindeers up on the roof using restraining wire.
‘My grown-up children keep saying for me not to stop. They have children as well now, and they love coming to see the Christmas display each year. My grand-daughter, Ellie Maye O’Callaghan, actually switched them on this year at the end of last month. I get lots of help from friends and neighbours putting them up, as well as taking them down.’
The O’Callaghan Christmas Display will run until January 6th and visitors to the house are asked to make a donation to charity.