NMD Council to assess vandalised Kilkeel Christmas tree

Vandals who attacked Kilkeel’s Christmas tree “under the cover of darkness” have been condemned by elected representatives for a “despicable act”.
Kilkeel Christmas Tree.Kilkeel Christmas Tree.
Kilkeel Christmas Tree.

The festive time tree is due to be lit up this Saturday (Nov 25) in the coastal village during its ‘Dickens Day Christmas Lights Switch On’.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) is to review the damage caused with concerns raised on the weekend celebrations.

South Down DUP MLA, Diane Forsythe informing the council of the damage, said: “I am disappointed and frustrated to learn last night that vandals had crawled under safety barriers surrounding the Kilkeel Christmas tree, and caused damage to its base.

“This morning (November 22) I was in contact with council, who are sending out contractors to make sure there are no major issues, and if so, repaired, ahead of Saturday’s lights switch on.

“I would ask parents, do you know what your son or daughter are doing when away from home? This type of anti social behaviour ruins it for everyone, and when electricity is involved can be extremely dangerous.”

NMDDC sustainability and environment chairperson, Terry Andrews raised his concerns at the committee meeting on Wednesday (Nov 22) night.

He said: “The attack on the Kilkeel Christmas tree causing it damage is a despicable act.

“How can someone can be engaged in this behaviour, to vandalise a Christmas tree that was to be enjoyed and apprenticed by the residents of Kilkeel.

“To do this under the cover of darkness is a really low act.”

The PSNI has made an appeal for witnesses. A spokesperson said: “Police received a report shortly after 4.30pm [on] Wednesday 22nd November, of criminal damage caused to a Christmas tree in the Lower Square area of Kilkeel.

“Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information or mobile, CCTV or dash-cam footage that could help our investigation is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference 1248 22/11/23.

“Alternatively, you can submit a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport.”

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