A Clare teenager who has just returned home from undergoing extensive treatment at Temple Street Hospital fulfilled a lifelong dream of switching on the Christmas lights at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park this evening.
Jordan Perez (15) from Sixmilebridge is bravely battling Muscular Dystrophy and was invited to be guest of honour at the annual ceremony following his nine-month hospital treatment.
After such an emotional, stressful year being apart from our family for so long and Jordan being so unwell, today is the perfect way to end the year,” commented Jordan’s mother, Sinead Perez
She added, “Lighting the lights in Bunratty is an amazing honour. It's a chance to light the way forward leaving all the stress and anxiety of the year behind. His journey ends on a high note surrounded by his family and friends back home where he belongs."
Stephen Hanley, General Manager of Clare Tourism East
said, “Visiting Bunratty at Christmas has always been a highlight of the festive season for Jordan and this year we wanted to make his visit an unforgettable one by inviting him and his family to light up the folk park and officially launch our festive offering.”
“We are also delighted to use this occasion to raise awareness of SMA Ireland: Spinal Muscular Atrophy Ireland Foundation, which was established in 2019 to provide a collective voice for Irish adults and children in with Spinal Muscular Atrophy,” added Mr. Hanley. “Visitor attraction staff also hosted a separate fundraiser this week to raise money for the Children's Ark Paediatric unit at UHL, a service that Jordan also regularly benefits from. €910 was raised through the staff Christmas jumper initiative on Wednesday.”
The Folk Park has been transformed into a winter wonderland this festive season with thousands of people expected through the gates of the popular 26-acre visitor attraction. After a three-year absence, Santa Claus has exclusively made a welcome return to his grotto on the Village Street.
Visitors also have full access to Bunratty Folk Park Trail of Lights Experience and can enjoy Puppet & Magic Shows and Traditional Christmas Tales with Bunratty’s resident Seanchaí, drop into the Festive Themed Shops, and take a ride on the Polar Express or one of the traditional carousels.