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Ballycastle has rivals for title of Northern Ireland's ugliest Christmas tree

By Allan Preston

Published 18/12/2015

Newry Christmas tree
Newry Christmas tree
Ballyclare Christmas tree

It's the town challenge no one wants to win, but Ballyclare and Newry have stepped up to challenge Ballycastle as the owner of the ugliest Christmas tree in Northern Ireland.

Imprisoned in a car park by a haphazard security barrier, the Ballyclare tree has clearly been through a rough time. Battered by the wind, it now leans to one side with multiple broken branches on the ground. The news has come as a shock to DUP councillor for the area Mandy Girvan.

"I think the Ballyclare tree is beautiful - I was there when it was lit and the lights were lovely on it," she said.

"The security barrier round it is just to safeguard it because it's in a car park and we don't want cars hitting it. It was a lovely tree when it was started, but if it has fell over slightly we'll certainly get it looked at."

In Newry the spear-shaped festive fir on Kildare Street has also been turning heads for all the wrong reasons. Pointy and conical in design without a light in sight, it appears it has also been given a short back and sides to make more room on the pavement.

Ballycastle's tree was criticised this week on social media, with local residents condemning it as "pathetic" and "the saddest tree in Northern Ireland" after coastal gales destroyed most of the lighting and decorations.

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