Kilkenny & Proud with Siobhan Donohoe

Kilkenny's Christmas Tree Festival

Photos by Christopher Dunne

Siobhan Donohoe


Siobhan Donohoe


St. Canice’s Cathedral was home to a magical forest of unknown species of Christmas trees for Yulfest Kilkenny. This amazing forest was designed by artistic talent of Kilkenny and beyond. The Festival in its fifth year, had its largest entry yet of 150 trees. Each one was a work of imagination and art of all shapes and sizes. Many local schools, businesses, charities and organisations participated as well as individuals. 


Running over six days, families enjoyed the seasonal atmosphere in the 13th century Cathedral. Besides the creative trees, there was music, stalls, teas and crafts for children all in the surrounds of the Cathedral. Proceeds for the event went to the local ‘Special Olympics’ charity.


The Festival was featured heavily over social media for the few days and was a favourite this year with Instagrammers. I myself got a little ‘held up’ at An Garda Síochána tree!

After six days of voting the public got to pick their ‘favourite’ Christmas tree in both large and small tree categories. The winner of the large tree was Burn Church School with their rhyming story wooden spoon tree, featuring a nursery rhyme on every wooden spoon. The winners of the small tree competition were Thomas and Alex Hopkins with Scarrlett Langhams for their creation of a Christmas Forest.


The committee would like to thank all those who gave their time and amazing artistic talent to enhance the ancient building and support the Festival. It’s a great idea for businesses and individuals to be inspired and to consider submitting a tree for next year’s festival and is no fee to submit a tree. I think we could enter a paper mache tree!