Dublin City lights up for Christmas

Samuel Beckett Bridge, photo credit: Conor McCabe

By Jane Byrne, Shay Galon and Leigha O’Reilly Hughes

After a long year and the beginning of a cold winter, Dublin lights up to get everyone in the Christmas mood. 

Jane Byrne, Shay Galon and Leigha O’Reilly Hughes asks people in Dublin what they want for Christmas

Dublin City Council returns with their very popular ‘Dublin winter lights.’ The lights were first switched on November 15 and will stay on until January 1. Twenty-one locations — up five from last year — have been transformed with colourful projections and light displays. Two locations, one on the Southside and the other on the Northside, are walking trails that bring the public across Dublin in the most Christmas-y way. A team of over 60 people work hard every year to deliver the winter lights. 

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alison Gilliand, welcomed the Christmas lights back. “I’ve been a huge fan of ‘Dublin Winter Lights’ ever since it began in 2018. The contrast between the bright lights and the dark evenings makes for a stunning backdrop to the city.”

Custom House – Photo credit: Conor McCabe

In an effort to cut down on CO2 emissions Dublin City Council announced that no diesel generators were used this year. Instead, where main power was not accessible, they used Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil which is made from 100% renewable waste materials and results in an up to 90% reduction in CO2 emissions. Furthermore, they recycle all materials and branding from year to year and store all lighting in wooden crates instead of single use plastics. 

A new location that was added this year and is proving very popular is the light installations at Merrion Square park. So much so that six new dates have been added allowing the light show to run every day up until December 22nd. 

The park has been transformed into a magical winter walk with light installations, a 15m-high Christmas tree in the heart of the park projected with magical images, a virtual snowstorm and dancing penguins and polar bears. At the end, children are seen begging their parents for a nutella crèpe whilst adults can enjoy a mulled wine under the lights. Although tickets are free, due to limited numbers you are asked to book your free ticket online before attending. 

Other locations garnering spectacular sights include, Trinity College, Grafton Street, City Hall, Millennium Bridge and the Samuel Beckett Bridge among others. 

Btec GPO, photo credit: Conor McCabe

New restrictions on nightclubs, the hospitality sector and vaccine requirements mean that we will be looking at a Covid Christmas for the second year in a row. However, a free walk around the Christmas lights in Dublin City is sure to lift the spirits.  In the video, we talked to the people of Dublin and gave you a look around the winter lights to get you in the Christmas mood. 

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