Businessman fills garden with festive cheer for worthy cause

All lit up...Kevin Tuohy in his festive garden. Photo: Iain McDonald.

A Loughrea-based businessman has created his very own “Winter Wonderland” in his front lawn – in an effort to raise much needed funds for cancer care throughout the west of Ireland.

Located close to the Meadow Court Hotel on the main Craughwell/Loughrea road, Kevin Tuohy has decked out his garden in spectacular fashion, which has seen many passers-by take the time to stop and marvel at the impressive display.

Describing himself as ‘a child at heart’, Kevin has been putting together these notable Christmas lighting displays for many years now, but this is his first time doing so in aid of charity.

“Everybody was saying last year and the year before, ‘why don’t you do it for a charity?’ So, this year I said fair enough – I’d do it for cancer. I got a friend of mine to make two metal trees about three and a half to four metres (in height) and I ordered in pink lights. So, I made two purposely pink trees for cancer,” he said.

The display which contains approximately 32,000 lights, usually only contains two colours red and blue, but this year Kevin added in pink to coincide with the cancer care theme.

“I have music and the whole lot. The minute that the Christmas lights come on the music starts and it will be playing constantly.

“I have a list of people who helped me, through maintenance or whatever, so I put a thank you list out on the road and there are signs up on the front for Cancer Care West,” said the LED aficionado.

He is expecting an increase on his electricity bill of around €150 to cover the extra lights during the period.

As well as that cost, the businessman – and developer of Galway’s first crematorium on the outskirts of Ballinasloe – has also given up three and a half weeks of his time, usually working five hours a day, in the construction of this splendid spectacle.

Speaking about the overall cost of purchasing the lights he joked: “My wife doesn’t even know that.”

“It’s a good few thousand. I have been building it up bit-by-bit but this year we added a good bit into it just to make it. Between the signage, the lighting, the pink lights, the music. It’s lovely and we get severe crowds out there,” he added.

Donations can be made through a chute at the front of the house which is safely secured in a steel box attached to the wall and all proceeds will be given to Cancer Care West at the conclusion of the Christmas period.