• Culture

Ardee girl Shaney switches on RTE’s Christmas lights

Shaney McConnon turns on the Christmas lights in Donnybrook.
This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

Ardee schoolgirl Shaney McConnon was given the chance of a lifetime on Friday afternoon – as she switched on the Christmas Lights at RTE’s Donnybrook studios live on RTE 2’s news2day programme.

Shaney, who attends Ardee Educate Together school, won the programmes’s Christmas Lights art competition which saw her land the opportunity to switch on the lights at RTE’s television campus in Donnybrook.


Open to all primary school pupils across the country, Shaney made a 3D house enclosed in a snow globe. Her piece included a banner that said, ‘My Christmas Wish is Homes for the Homeless.’ The theme for this year’s competition was ‘My Christmas Wish’.

As part of her prize, Shaney and parents Jay and Hilda and brother Logan were invited for a tour of RTE’s studios on Friday where they bumped into Ryan Tubridy. The host took some time out from busily preparing for tonight’s Late Late Toy Show to have a chat with the competition winner.

Speaking to host Tommy Meskill before she officially switched on the lights, Shaney explained the concept behind her art piece.

“My magical snow globe is about homeless people. I’ve seen loads of articles on the news about homeless people and there’s over 3,000 children who are homeless at the moment. In my opinion, snowglobes are very magical. I decided it would be magical if there was one in the world where I could wish for homes for homeless.

“It’s an old sweet box. One night we were having a pizza and I decided to take the styoform from the bottom of the pizza box and wash it and cut out some shapes and stick it all together,” she explained.

When asked what she would do to combat homelessness if she were in charge, Shaney said, “I would like people to be put back into their homes they first lived in and for them to be never taken out of their homes in the first place.”

Shaney took the chance to say hello to her family, teacher Ms Crawley, best friend Aoife, her classmates at Ardee Educate Together and also her friends at Born To Perform Stage School.

“I’m very excited. I didn’t think I’d be doing this. I didn’t think I’d ever win. It’s really unspeakable for me,” she added.

You can watch Shaney on news2day again by viewing the programme on the RTE Player. It will be available later on Friday. Shaney’s older brother Logan is set to start in this year’s Olympia Panto, Polly and the Beanstalk which starts it’s run in Dublin on December 15th.

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