CHRISTMAS WILL come early in Burnfoot this Friday evening when the Harkin family’s magnificent festive display will light up.
The lights will be switched on by the Harkin’s neighbour Caitlin Strain, who successfully underwent surgery and treatment in Ireland and Germany for a brain tumour this year. The eight year old returned to St Aengus’ primary school in Bridgend this autumn.
Donna Harkin and her husband Paul have been lighting up for Christmas for 15 years, but this is the first time they will incorporate a charity collection along with it.
There is no admission fee, but donations will be collected at their Birdstown home on Friday night with all proceeds going to the Children’s Ward at Letterkenny Hospital and St John’s Ward in Crumlin children’s hospital which cared for little Caitlin during the year.
Labour of love
THE HARKIN’S Christmas display has been a 15 year labour of love.
“We got married on 29 December 2006,” Donna smiles, “and bought our first Christmas ornaments and lights the very next day.”
The collection started out with a small Christmas crib, but has since grown to more than 300 individual pieces.
Donna and her husband Paul, and their children Sean, Eoghan and Aodhan, have spent much of November untangling cables and readying themselves for their biggest Christmas lights display yet.
It promises to be a spectacular sight, but as Donna says, it doesn’t take a fizz off her own brood.
“Our own wains don’t bat an eyelid at them anymore,” she laughs, “but people are welcome to come on Friday night to see for themselves.”
The lights will be switched on shortly after dusk, between 5-5.30pm on Friday night. They’ll light up the dark, midwinter nights from then until 6 January.
The Harkin’s home is at Birdstown in Burnfoot, close to the turnoff from the main Burnfoot-Muff road for Wild Ireland.
The Eircode is F93 VW13.