Belfast Telegraph

Christmas reinstated in Castledawson after U-turn over lights

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

Christmas has come early for villagers who had previously been told they would not be getting any festive street lights this year.

Last night Sinn Fein-controlled Magherafelt District Council performed a U-turn after it had said the lights would be not be going up in Castledawson in a row over the flying of Union flags.

Last night it was reported that the council had decided to lift its block on lights for Lower Castledawson Community Association (LCCA). It will also hand over £200 for a Christmas party.

The Sinn Fein council chairwoman, Kathleen Anne McEldowney, confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph that "a letter of agreement between the council and the group" was tabled at the meeting.

Sinn Fein had wanted a flags policy put in place before allocating the Christmas lights to the community group.

However, the community group argued that they had no control over the erection of Union flags in the village's main street.

Members heard that the agreement had been reached following discussions between councillors and representatives of the LCCA who said last night they were "very happy" with their early Chrismas present. The official switch-on is December 8.

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