Young and old took part in a Christmas community festival with a difference in Inishowen last weekend:

Organisers of the Christmas Tree Festival and Live Nativity in Glacknadrummond Methodist Church feared the worst when snowy conditions last weekend threatened their event.

However, come Sunday evening, the sun had shone all weekend and hundreds of people had come through the doors to enjoy and appreciate the fantastic spectacle that was on offer.

With the event featured on the Six One News on RTE television, people came from all across Ulster: accents from Ballymena, Ballymoney, Belfast, Derry, Eglinton, Strabane and Monaghan were heard as each day drew large crowds to admire the trees on display.

Visitors, who were entertained throughout the weekend by local musicians and singers, were also invited to vote for their favourite tree.

James McKinley, a local fisherman from Greencastle, won the ‘business’ category; the ‘organisation’ award went to Carndonagh Irish Countrywomen’s Association; the ‘school’ category was won by Scoil Mhuire from Gleneely, and the church award went to the Glacknadrummond Sunday School.

But the overall award – as voted by those visiting throughout the weekend – went to Scoil Mhuire, who had created their tree from recycling old Irish language textbooks.

Some of the trees in the Christmas Tree Festival in Glacknadrummond

Rev. Alison Gallagher with Katie McKinley and her mother, Carolyn

Speaking at Sunday evening’s Carol Service which concluded the weekend’s festivities, Rev. Alison Gallagher said: ‘the idea for the tree festival originated as a fundraiser towards the rebuilding of our Methodist community hall in Moville, but over the weekend, it became so much more than that.’

She continued: ‘it developed into a fantastic community event. The trees came from a diverse range of groups and organisations, from the very young to the very wise! And we were overjoyed to see so many visitors, particularly those that had travelled from afar. We were simply blown away by the goodwill of everyone.’