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The Mayors of Ennis and Clare today (Tuesday, 10 December 2013) joined the Clare Cystic Fibrosis Association in launching the third annual Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship.

The event, which is based on age-old lumberjack traditions and is commonplace across Germany and Austria, will see members of the public competing to achieve the longest distance for throwing a standard 1.5 metre tree.

Organisers Ennis Town Council and Clare County Council are hoping to make the January 5th event at Active Ennis Tim Smyth Park a record breaker. Last year's winner, John O'Dea from Limerick launched a Christmas tree 10.2 metres, just less than 2 metres short of the World Record held by Klaus Pubnaz who hurled a tree a distance of 12m at an event in Germany three years ago.

Hosted in conjunction with Active Ennis Sports & Leisure Facilities, the event will see the public’s used Christmas trees being sent forward for recycling while people will also be invited to make an eco-pledge for the New Year.
All proceeds from the Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship will go towards the Clare Branch of the Cystic Fibrosis Association.

Mayor of Ennis Cllr. Mary Coote Ryan and Mayor of Clare Cllr. Joe Arkins acknowledged the “novel approach” adopted by the Councils to encouraging members of the public to recycle their Christmas trees while at the same time raise funds for a local charity.

According to Tim Forde, General Manager, Active Ennis Sports & Leisure Facilities: “This is a sporting charity event with competitors from the four corners of Ireland and further afield being invited to take part. The event is open to men, women and children, and each contestant will get three attempts at throwing their used Christmas tree.”

“Disposing of the Christmas tree is often an arduous task for many so this event allows people to do so in style and with relative ease. The Council will be providing a free Christmas tree recycling service at various locations throughout County Clare, but we would welcome anyone who wishes to drop their tree at the contest and make a donation towards the Clare Branch of Cystic Fibrosis. The Council will arrange for the tree to be mulched for use by the its gardening section.”

Speaking ahead of next month’s Championship, Kieran McCarthy, Chairperson of the Clare Branch of Cystic Fibrosis commented: “The funds raised will complement the generous donations already received from the people of Clare during 2013. All money raised will be invested locally in the delivery of services, which include sponsoring the purchase of exercise equipment for persons with Cystic Fibrosis, counselling and support services, and providing taxi services to and from the hospital. We also make a contribution to the Tipperary, Limerick and Clare for Cystic Fibrosis (T.L.C.4.C.F.) charity.”

Meanwhile, participants in the Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship are this year being asked to make an eco-pledge via computer laptops that will be in place on the day.

According to Environmental Awareness Officer, Joan Tarmey: “This initiative of the Environment Section of Clare County Council is aimed at encouraging people to adopt an eco-friendly themed New Year’s Resolution such as a commitment to reduce the amount of food waste generated in the home or to turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. Other eco-pledge ideas are available on www.managewaste.ie.”

The winner of this year’s Championship will win a 2-night Bed & Breakfast stay at The Armada in Spanish Point. The Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship takes place on Sunday, 5 January 2014, between 1.00pm and 4.00pm at Active Ennis Tim Smyth Park, Ennis, Co. Clare.