Festive tree returned to the Shannon

LIMERICK’S 100ft tall floating metal Christmas tree, which was badly damaged in the recent floods after it was swept into the side of the Shannon Bridge, was refloated on the Shannon last night.

The ‘green’ tree is of salvaged steel from major local building projects, including the redeveloped Thomond Park and the Shannon Tunnel. It was designed by White Young Greene consulting engineers.

A team from local firm Speedline Engineering who constructed the tree worked on a voluntary basis to repair the three damaged sections.

Ray O’Halloran, Speedline Engineering, explained: “There was very little damage to the tree as it is built in such a way that it can be re-bolstered together easily, much like Mechano. There has been a huge voluntary effort to save the tree; people gave a lot of their time for free. Even the pontoons that the tree sits on were donated by Hegarty Recycling who provided the metal for the project.

“In Speedline Engineering we didn’t charge to put the structure on the pontoons and we’re delighted that Ireland’s tallest tree is back on the River Shannon for everyone to admire this Christmas.”

Mayor of Limerick Cllr Kevin Kiely said the city’s Christmas lights and 100ft floating tree are environmentally friendly this year.

“All the main features of the city’s beautiful Christmas decorations are powered by low energy, low voltage bulbs which represents a huge energy saving,” he explained. “This means there will be a 75% saving on the running costs on the city’s bridges alone where there are almost 4000 LED bulbs. And it’s fitting that the tree will be erected just in time for the Munster v Perpignan game in Thomond Park when thousands of visitors to our city can admire it.”


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