Irish neighbours have taken Christmas competitiveness to a new level

Irish neighbours have taken Christmas competitiveness to a new level

Next-door neighbours have taken Christmas competitiveness to a new level for a TV show.

The Murphy and O’Mahony clans go head-to-head for festive challenges on Battle of the Christmas Lights.

The families, from Mallow in Co Cork, also put their skills in baking, tree decoration and setting an eye-catching Christmas table to the test.

Mum-of-two Noreen Murphy, 36, a hospital cleaner, was put forward for the show by a friend who spotted the casting call. She said: “I try so hard to make Christmas work but there’s always some sort of a disaster.

“I absolutely love Christmas, like I’d start my Christmas shopping in September, matching Christmas jammies and all.

“I could take three days moving baubles around, I love my Christmas tree and I’d stand outside the window then looking in, going ‘yeah I need to move that now’.” Each task starts with the families finding a parcel on their doorstep with instructions inside.

Noreen, who was joined by sister Aine and her kids Lilly and Danny, dreaded the baking challenge.

Meanwhile, Jess O’Mahony was also well up for the competition.

Battle of the Christmas Lights Noreen with her family

Jess, 30, said: “We love Christmas, we’re usually more subtle about it – we went crazy this year and I loved the opportunity to go a bit mad.

“We’re also going to use it as an opportunity to raise some funds for the charity that I work at, the Irish Community Air Ambulance. I like to have my decorations up early and down early. I love to see the lights when you pull into the drive.

“End of November is about as early as I’d get away with it, definitely by the start of December.”

Jess was joined by her partner Evan, son Harvey, six, two-year-old daughter Darcy and Evan’s aunt Aileen. She added: “Myself and Noreen are in semi-detached houses so we’re literally stuck

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