Spread the joy by shopping local, advises mayor

THE traditional festive greetings of peace and goodwill were added to by business leaders in Cork last night as they urged shoppers to preserve jobs by spending locally.

The Christmas lights were turned on in the city centre by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Michael O’Connell, heralding the start of what retailers know should be their busiest time of the year.

While the recession may have cast some doom and gloom, it was smiles all round for the hundreds who watched the occasion and mixed with Snow White and the ~Seven Dwarfs.

Cork Chamber of Commerce chief executive Conor Healy said supporting retailer outlets in the city was never so important.

He urged people not to go abroad on shopping trips and to spend locally.

“People need to do this to ensure the safety of their own jobs and those of their relatives and friends,” Mr Healy said.

His sentiments were echoed by his counterpart in Cork Business Association (CBA) Donal Healy.

“Buying locally and buying local produce is so important in the current economic climate to protect employment. Cork City has so much to offer at any time, but it is a must-do to visit at Christmas time for stress- free shopping in a traditional festive environment,” Mr Healy said.

He added the festive lighting will compliment the great Christmas window displays in many shops.

“It is always a pleasure to be involved in something as festive and as positive as the switching-on of the Christmas lights. I have always felt that regardless of other matters affecting us, seeing the lights on in the city centre brings a tone of hope and positivity in the dark winter nights,” the Lord Mayor said.

Picture: Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Michael O’Connell performs the switching-on ceremony with Lady Mayoress Catherine O’Connell, CBA chief executive Donal Healy and CBA vice-chairman Sean Murphy.

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