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Image / Editorial

When are the Christmas lights turning on in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Belfast and Limerick?

by Grace McGettigan
06th Nov 2019

Christmas lights

Christmas lights

Are you as excited for Christmas as we are? Here’s when Dublin, Cork, Galway, Belfast and Limerick will be switching on their Christmas lights this year

As Bing Crosby and Perry Como once sang, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.

Retailers have already stocked their stores with festive jumpers and decorations, while supermarket shelves are filled with selection boxes and sweet tins.

It’s a magical time of year, but it wouldn’t be complete without city-wide Christmas lights. Here we look at when Ireland’s largest towns are switching on their lights for Christmas 2019.


In Cork, the big Christmas lights ‘Switch On’ will take place on Sunday, November 17 on St Patrick’s Street.

According to organisers, the celebrations will run from 6 pm to 7:30 pm and large crowds are expected to attend. On that note, members of the public are being asked to give themselves plenty of time to come into the city.

With road closures and lane restrictions in place on the day, attendees are advised to use public transport.

Irish Sign Language services will be available throughout the evening, with an area reserved in front of the stage for those who require sight of the signer. Organisers add that patrons with mobility issues or other disabilities will also be accommodated close to the stage, with spaces available on a first-come-first-served basis.

See corkchristmascelebration.ie for more information.


To add to the mystique of Christmas, a spokesperson for DublinTown has said, “There is no public date for the switching of the Christmas lights, however, they will be lighting up the city in the coming weeks.”

Based on last year, the Christmas lights in Dublin started switching on from Thursday, November 8. With that in mind, we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled towards the sky over the coming days.

Stay tuned to dublintown.ie for details.


In Galway, the switching on of the Christmas lights coincides with the launch of the Galway Continental Christmas Market.

Kicking off at 6 pm on Friday, November 15, this year’s market will feature Santa’s Express Train, an Après Ski Bar, carol singing, a 32-metre high Big Wheel, and live music performers.

What’s more, Santa’s Grotto will be run by local charities and the popular Bier Keller will play host to various events.

Families and friends can enjoy a walk through the enchanted light gardens (which act as the backdrop for photos), stop off at Santa’s postbox, and much more. Visit galwaytourism.ie for details.


Christmas lights in Limerick will be switched on on Sunday, November 17. The evening, which is called ‘Light Up Limerick for Christmas’, will run from 4:30 pm – 6 pm at O’Connell Street and Mallow Street Junction.

Organisers say, “Bring the whole family for a fun evening of music and entertainment as we officially kickstart the Christmas season in Limerick.”

See limerick.ie for more information.


On Saturday, November 16, special guests will join Lord Mayor John Finucane to switch on Belfast’s magnificent Christmas tree lights.

The free, ticketed event will take place from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm outside Belfast’s City Hall, with festive entertainment (including sing-along carol singing) to set the mood. The award-winning Belfast Christmas Market will also be returning to the city at midday. Tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis from Monday, November 4.

Due to the large volume of people expected, traffic diversions will be in operation in and around City Hall from 2 pm – 11 pm. See belfastcity.gov.uk for more information.


Read more: Vintage Christmas jumpers – 27 styles to buy for winter 2019

Read more: ‘It’s never too early’: In defence of the Brown Thomas Christmas shop

Read more: The most luxurious Advent calendars for beauty lovers

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