Litte bit of magic as Raphoe’s Diamond sparkles bright

It was a Christmas Lights ‘switch on’ with a little bit of magic this year in Raphoe. Residents and businesses in the Diamond, the town centre, came to their doorstep on Saturday and with a wave of the hand the trees were lit up bringing a much needed sparkle to the town.

The Chairperson of Raphoe Community In Action, Mary Harte said that this year unfortunately the annual Christmas lights gathering had to be put on hold. ‘‘Normally we make a bit of a fuss with a choir and Santa and local people when we light up our beautiful trees that encircle the Diamond. ‘This year I thought it would be nice to have a sense of neighbourliness to ask residents and business to wave across the Diamond to each other from their front door step, that spark of community spirit turned the lights on as if by magic. She said Santa was really the person who switched on the lights as he watched people wave to him on his magic telescope at the North Pole. ‘We also wanted to send out the message ‘Stay local, shop local and stay safe’ this Christmas.

Among those who stood by their door was Rosaleen Harte, who turned 90 in November and her next door neighbour Anna Harte who also celebrated her 80th birthday this year was joined by husband Don. “It is just lovely to be able to look out now and see the Christmas lights cheer us all up in these times of restriction especially people like myself ’ said Rosaleen, who is the most senior resident in the Diamond where she has lived for 65 years and grew up herself just off the Diamond in Irish Street.


The Heritage Town is among one of the few towns in Ireland where long established families still live in the centre. Standing at the front door of their family homes that go back generations were John, Catherine and Majella Friel, Sean and Theresa Duffy and Mary McGranaghan, Edward and Samantha Coyle and James and Margo Barkley.

Mary Harte said ‘We would like to thank the Hugo Charitable Trust in New Zealand which was set up memory of the late Hugh Green, who lived in the Diamond, for helping us with the cost of the Christmas Lighting this year’. We wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas from Raphoe.


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