Derry misses out on World Record, but...

Thousands turned out for the Christmas Jumpers world record attempt on Sunday last. Photo: George Sweeney. DER5116GS008
Thousands turned out for the Christmas Jumpers world record attempt on Sunday last. Photo: George Sweeney. DER5116GS008

Derry has missed out on taking the world record for the most festive sweaters in one place.

However organisers have said that the generosity of local people will result in a Christmas windfall for local charities.

The official turnout of Christmas jumpers record attempt on Sunday last has now been confirmed as 2,484.

The record to beat of 3,473 was set on December 19, 2015 at a men’s basketball game in Lawrence, Kansas, USA.

While this fell just short of the Guinness world record for ‘festive sweaters’ , the organisers of Sunday’s event are confident that they have set a new record for the most ‘Christmas jumpers’ in the one place at the one time. 

The Christmas jumper initiative was the brainchild of Dr Lee Casey and those involved in the project said that thanks to his energy and enthusiasm for the event, local charities, Foyle Hospice, Children in Crossfire, Concern and Muscular Dystrophy UK #Team Evan all came on board to help with its organisation.

Dr Casey said he was delighted by the way the event captured the public’s imagination and showed the city off in a very positive light.

“The event went off very well and the feedback has been very positive,” he said. “It’s certainly an Irish record and possibly even a world record for Christmas jumpers.

“Guinness currently do not have a category for Christmas jumpers so watch this space.”

He continued: “Sunday event was a real team effort and simply couldn’t have happened without the voluntary help and support from so many different groups and organisations in the city and they all deserve a big thank-you.”

Among the first to don their Christmas jumpers in support of the event were Bishop Donal McKeown and Bishop Ken Good.

Dr Casey also acknowledged the support from the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, Inner City Trust, City Centre Initiative, Apprentice Boys, GAA clubs and Derry City FC.

Thanks were also issued to the Keep Her Knit ladies who created the magnificent giant jumper for advance publicity and local shops Peacock, Primark and the Christmas Shop for supplying Christmas jumpers for landmark statues in advance of the event last weekend.

Dr Casey continued: “Most of all though, we’d like to thank everyone who turned up on Sunday to participate with the families, friends and even their dogs to make it such a special day out for everyone.”

Although the final amount raised is not yet known, what is known is that the four charities will each get a very welcome Christmas windfall as a result, and the Mayor’s charities, Tear Fund and Action Cancer NI will also both receive a donation.