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Original RudeBoys and Love/Hate star flick the switch as Grafton Street's Christmas lights are turned on

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Sean Arkins of the Original Rudeboys on stage before the lights are turned on at Grafton Street

Sean Arkins of the Original Rudeboys on stage before the lights are turned on at Grafton Street

Fergal Phillips

Actor Laurence Kinlan who plays Elmo in Love/Hate on stage turning on the annual Christmas lights on Grafton Street

Actor Laurence Kinlan who plays Elmo in Love/Hate on stage turning on the annual Christmas lights on Grafton Street

Fergal Phillips

From Left: Darcy Cloake (7), Brooke Guerrine (7) and Charlie McIntosh (9) waiting for the Grafton Street Christmas lights to be turned

From Left: Darcy Cloake (7), Brooke Guerrine (7) and Charlie McIntosh (9) waiting for the Grafton Street Christmas lights to be turned

Fergal Phillips

Crowds of people on  Grafton Street for the Christmas lights to be turned on

Crowds of people on Grafton Street for the Christmas lights to be turned on

Fergal Phillips

Crowds of people waiting for the Grafton Street Christmas lights

Crowds of people waiting for the Grafton Street Christmas lights

Fergal Phillips

Sean Arkins of the Original Rudeboys on stage before the lights are turned on at Grafton Street

THOUSANDS gathered in Grafton Street last night to see the first of the capital's Christmas lights turned on.

It was too early in the season for Santa to make an appearance, so the Original Rudeboys (ORB), the cast of the Gaiety's Peter Pan panto and Love/Hate's Laurence Kinlan flicked the switch to light up the street.

ORB's Rob Burch said he was delighted to be given the opportunity, but his mother was more excited than he was.

"It's always a big moment in the city's calendar, so we are just happy to be a part of it," he said.

"It's a little tip of the cap too, and people have recognised that the band has gained a level of popularity now, so that is very nice."

honour

"My mam is definitely more excited about it because it means a lot to her. Hopefully we get a Christmas off this year because for the last four years we have been gigging so it would be nice to have a quiet one at home with the feet up by the fire."

Love/Hate's Laurence said it was a huge honour to be asked to turn on the lights but added that he was afraid the weather might have hindered his chances.

"It has been raining all day so I let them do it so I wouldn't get electrocuted," he said.

Thankfully, the worst of the rain may be behind us as Met Eireann predicts mixed weather with drier spells over the weekend.

It will be welcome news for Dubliners as the city did not fare well in yesterday's downpour.

There was gridlock across the capital as up to 36mm of rain lashed down throughout the day.

Commuters faced long delays on their way home, with some bus routes forced to close temporarily.

Roads were also closed due to extensive flooding.

In the city centre, Parkgate Street at Heuston Station was one of the worst-affected areas, while parts of the Quays were also flooded.

Parts of the M1 became impassable due to the flooding.

hnews@herald.ie


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