Newry, Mourne and Down Council have decided today to replace the Christmas Tree in Bessbrook following damage to the lights and an attempt to saw it down. The vandalism had been spotted by council staff just hours before the planned ceremony on Thursday last to switch on the village's Christmas lights.

Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down Council, Cllr Roisin Mulgrew said on Twitter "I am pleased to announce that the recently vandalised Christmas Tree in Bessbrook will be replaced by Council"

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council have decided to replace Bessbrook's recently vandalised Christmas Tree.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council have decided to replace Bessbrook's recently vandalised Christmas Tree. Photograph: NewRayPics

The annual Bessbrook Christmas tree has been the victim of attacks in the past with it being cut down in 2010.

Councillor David Taylor described the individuals who vandalised the tree  as mindless idiots. “I am extremely angry that some individuals took it upon themselves to vandalise the Christmas Tree placed in Bessbrook. They can only be described as mindless idiots.

“The local community in Bessbrook is understandably extremely disappointed and outraged that this act of vandalism has occurred."