Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Frank O Flynn is calling on the people of Cork to support Midleton this Christmas. Photo: Philip Daly

Midleton unites to kickstart Christmas

A little girl with a rare blood disorder will be turning the Christmas lights on in Midleton this weekend as the County Mayor asks the public to come and support the town in its recovery from recent flooding.

This Sunday at 6.15pm, local girl Orla Hennessy, who was just six years old when she was diagnosed with severe aplastic anaemia, will do the honours as part of a day-long programme of events in the East Cork town.

Following her diagnosis, Orla’s only chance to be cured was a bone marrow transplant which took place last October with her older sister Shannon as donor. There was just a 1 in 4 chance of a sibling match.

In the lead-up to Sunday, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O'Flynn, has called on the people of Cork to come and show their support for Midleton which was one of the worst affected parts of the county when Storm Babet hit last month.

“The Midleton Christmas Lights Committee have put huge work into making sure the turning on ceremony is bigger and brighter than ever,” said the mayor.

“We have witnessed incredible community spirit in the town of Midleton and surrounding areas in recent weeks. Everyone came together to support the homes and businesses damaged by the worst flooding in decades.

“These businesses are now reopening, are about to enter what is traditionally the busiest time of the year for them and it is so important that we all continue to shop local and support them.

“Sunday’s event will reflect this spirit and more and I am asking people from near and far to visit Midleton and to pick up some unique Christmas gifts,” he added.

On Sunday, the courtyard at Sage Restaurant in Midleton will be transformed into Santas’s Grotto until 3pm with a special sensory event taking place from 10am until 12pm. There will also be a Christmas fair at The Fair Green sponsored by GEDA construction and Pirate Pete magic shows at the Midleton Park Hotel throughout the day.

Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’Sullivan, said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for people to shop locally and to experience the magic of Christmas on their doorstep.

“It has been a challenging few years for all businesses which is why it is so important that we all make a concerted effort to visit towns like Midleton and to support the retailers and companies that are the lifeblood of our communities.”

Midleton Christmas Lights Committee representative Rebecca Darcy added:

“We are also working closely with the St Vincent de Paul to enable local families to enjoy the festivities.”

Tickets are available for the magic show with Pirate Pete at the Midleton Park Hotel and all funds raised will go towards the Christmas lights. Tickets are available from

Local traffic diversions will be in place for a time during the day in the town.