In September 2010, I was contacted by a gentleman named Jim O'Driscoll who lived in my town. You see every year he would decorate his house and garden with Christmas lights, snowmen & reindeer, extreme style and use his love of this to give something back to the community by asking people who came to see them for a small donation for charity.
Jim had done this for 10 years and raised thousands for many good causes including; Crumblin’s Children’s Hospital, Cahercalla Hospice and the Clare Sunset Foundation, among others.
As a representative of the local Diabetes Ireland branch I jump at the chance of being the benefactors of this. Jim was so enthusiastic about raising money for diabetes especially when he heard that there was a local branch and because he had Type 2 diabetes for about 20 years.
Sadly, Jim became seriously ill in November and passed away from the complications of his diabetes in February 2011, at the age of 58 before this could become a reality. Because of this, Jim’s wife, Ann want to see his wish through and is dedicating the lights to his memory this year.
Jim's Christmas Lights will officially be switched on at 5:30pm on the 8th of December at No. 75 Elm Park, (behind Ennis Swimming Pool) Gort Road, Ennis, Co. Clare.
On Saturday, the 10th of December, between 4pm and 7pm, there will be a special guest appearance from Santa Claus. “Everyone’s invited and we’ll be having mince pies, mulled wine, hot food and some treats for the children” says Ann O’Driscoll.
The lights can be seen at No. 75 Elm Park, Gort Road, Ennis (behind Ennis Swimming Pool) every evening from the 8th of December to the 6th of January between 4 – 11pm.
The Clare branch of Diabetes Ireland hopes that lots of families from Ennis and the surrounding areas in Co. Clare will come out to see and enjoy Jim’s Christmas Lights and to support his wish to raise money for diabetes awareness and education. People can also make a donation in Jim’s memory to Diabetes Ireland by calling 1850 909 909 or by logging onto www.diabetes.ie and clicking the “Quick Donate” icon.
Proceeds from Jim's Lights a few years ago to The Children's Medical Research Foundation. From left: Gerry Cully, Jim O' Driscoll, Fr. Martin Blake and Anne O' Driscoll. Photograph by Yvonne Vaughan, The Clare People.