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Northern Ireland council stung by criticism of 'jellyfish' Christmas tree

By Rebecca Black

Published 01/12/2016

Lit up: The Castlereagh tree
Lit up: The Castlereagh tree

Complaints have been raised about a Christmas tree in Castlereagh that has been compared to a jellyfish.

The festive tree at Bradford Court, close to Forestside Shopping Centre, appears to be struggling under the weight of lights and has sparked criticism from residents.

It is one of 19 trees erected by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.

Pictures of the tree are being circulated on social media by bemused locals.

It has been described as "an eyesore" and a "disgrace".

One even speculated that the image had been Photoshopped, it looked so unbelievable.

DUP MLA Christopher Stalford said the tree resembled a jellyfish. He has urged the council to address the concerns of residents.

"I was contacted on social media about this issue and have to agree with those who said the tree is underwhelming, to say the least," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"I am hopeful the council will move to redecorate this tree or decorate the other tree nearby.

"The tree is adjacent to Forestside and people will see it, so it is important that it conveys a good impression of the area and of the council."

Mr Stalford said other trees erected by the council were beautiful, citing in particular the one put up at the top of the Cregagh Road each year.

A spokeswoman for Lisburn and Castlereagh Council said concerns were being addressed.

"Due to its location adjacent to the road, this tree was traditionally decorated each year at Bradford Court," she said.

"When it was decorated last week the council was concerned about the tree's apparent ability in supporting the weight of the Christmas tree lights.

"Ahead of the recent negative comments regarding the tree at Bradford Court, the council had already progressed arrangements to dress the more traditionally-shaped Noble fir tree at the front of the building."

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