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Appeal to light up Tory Island off coast of Donegal for Christmas nears target

The Tau Cross at the harbour on Tory island, off the coast of Donegal.
Seamus McKinney

AN appeal to help light up Tory Island off Co Donegal for a memorable Christmas has almost reached its target.

Donations have come in from around the world after an online campaign was launched in response to an increase in children living on the island.

The Tory co-operative group also intends bringing over Santa by helicopter on December 23.

Nine miles off the Donegal coast, Tory is home to around 150 people and is one of Ireland’s most inaccessible islands. During the winter months it is often only possible to travel by air.

However, in the last census it was revealed that Tory’s population has risen by 12 per cent in recent years.

Of significant historical and cultural significance, Tory was home to a monastery founded by St Colmcille and the island also gives its name to the Waves of Tory céilí dance.

A spokesman for the co-operative group said it was hoping to raise €2,000 to put up Christmas lights at the east town and west town, as well as wall decorations around the island and a crib.

“It’s almost 30 years since we have had this many children living on the island," he said.

"We would like to make this Christmas as magical and memorable as possible.”

With more than €1,700 raised by yesterday, it looks certain that the target will be met.

Donations to the crowd-funding page have come from as far away as North America.

US resident David Tew donated €25 euro while other donations have flooded in from throughout Ireland.

Mr Tew, from South California, said: “What a great thing for joy to all on the island and of course the children.”

Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/help-light-up-toryisland-xmas-2016-2utr5y34

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