Wednesday 12 December 2018

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A 'ceol' lot of nothing for muted Midleton

Wednesday, 5th December, 2018 4:57pm

Locals in Midleton have spoken of their disappointment after the cancellation of the town’s Christmas music.

The tradition, which sees festive songs ring out from speakers erected on poles along Midleton’s main street, will not take place this year over safety concerns raised by the ESB.

Fergus McCarthy of McCarthy’s Newsagents, who helps organise the music every year, said the speakers had never previously been an issue.

“We’ve done it for last twenty years,” he said. “It adds to the atmosphere, and there was something missing last Saturday. Christmas had begun, people were shopping and milling about, but there was no music. It sounded wrong.”

Mr McCarthy said the ESB had offered to make a contribution to help relocate the speakers, but said it was likely too late.

“It’s not simple, you have to be very careful where you put them. You can’t put them outside an office, or someone’s bedroom. Over the years, we’ve found the right spots so that they’re out of reach and no-one gets annoyed.

“I’m not an expert but I don’t see it as a health risk. Even last year, when Storm Frank pulled down some of our Christmas lights and flooded the street, they were fine.”

A statement this week from ESB Network said that while it was “acutely aware of the efforts being made by local business groups and retailers”, there was “significant danger when third parties come in close proximity with our overhead infrastructure”.

Sinn Féin Cllr Danielle Twomey said it was a “shame” to have lost the music. “It created an ambience for Christmas shoppers and was enjoyed by all.”

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