Clonakilty children hit the high note with Christmas fundraising CD

A moving new song, which celebrates the beauty of a West Cork town at Christmas time and expresses the sense of loss felt by local people forced to emigrate, is to be launched this week.

Clonakilty children hit the high note with Christmas fundraising CD

‘Home — The Clonakilty Christmas Song’ will be performed by staff and pupils of Scoil na mBuachaillí on this coming Friday as part of the 10th anniversary of the town’s hugely successful Remembrance Tree Christmas Charity fundraiser.

Composed by school principal Barth Harrington and produced by John Fitzgerald from the acclaimed Lettercollum Recording Studios, the song will be performed during the launch of the annual Remembrance Tree event at 8pm in Spiller’s Lane. The location has been specially decorated in a spectacular biblical theme recalling ancient Bethlehem.

The voices of about 70 pupils between the ages of eight and 12 are featured on the song which was arranged by teacher Karen O’Regan, the main vocalist.

Clonakilty Boys National School staff and pupils with their principal Barth Harrington announce details of their new Christmas song ‘Home —The Clonakilty Christmas Song’ in aid of the Children’s ward at CUH and the Remembrance Tree in Clonakilty.

Over the decade since it was first established as an annual Christmas event in 2004, the 20ft Remembrance Tree has generated in the region of €55,000 for the school and several Cork charities.

Every year some 500 people purchase special Christmas lights for the tree. These lights are dedicated to loved ones who have passed away, have emigrated or who are ill.

The names of loved ones are also inscribed on a special brick in the adjacent Remembrance Tree Wall in Spiller’s Lane, and later listed in a special book which is presented to the altar in the local church on Christmas morning.

Members of the public who buy the 10 lights and have the names of their loved ones inscribed upon the Wall will also receive a set of colourful Christmas cards specially designed by pupils of the school.

The CD of ‘Home — The Clonakilty Christmas Song’ will be on sale at the launch, and can also be purchased online or from a variety of shops in the town.

“The Remembrance Tree Ceremony brings back heart-warming memories to a lot of people at this time of year,” said Louise Culnane of the school’s Parents’ Council.

Monies raised by the Remembrance Tree event and sales of the song will be donated to the Scoil na mBuachaillí Building Fund and to the Children’s Unit at Cork University Hospital.

“The idea of the new song is to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Remembrance Tree. It’s a completely new song, specially composed and performed by staff and pupils at the school. The song celebrates the beauty of Clonakilty at Christmas time and the longing that so many emigrants feel for home at this time of year. The event will also see Spiller’s Lane transformed to a festive streetscape reminiscent of Bethlehem,” she said.

Following the launch, the school choir will perform Christmas Carols, and the tree will be blessed by Monsignor Aidan O’Driscoll.

‘Home — The Clonakilty Christmas Song’ can be purchased online at iTunes, Amazon, Googleplay, CD Baby and Spotify or in Clonakilty at Hunky Dory on Spiller’s Lane, O’Donovan’s Hotel, Atkins, Tony Hayes, Xtravision, The Clonakilty Bookshop and De Barra’s Bar.

Remembrance Tree Cards can be bought at Scoil na mBuachailli or at a special stand outside O’Donovan’s Hotel every Friday and Saturday throughout December.

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