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Puzzle over town's fallen Christmas tree cleared up

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 17/11/2015

Mystery surrounded the felling of Magherafelt’s Christmas tree on Sunday
Mystery surrounded the felling of Magherafelt’s Christmas tree on Sunday

The mystery of who - or what - was behind the felling of Magherafelt's Christmas tree has now been solved.

It wasn't a Grinch, a spoilsport Scrooge or even vandals responsible for downing the undecorated tree found in the Diamond area of the Co Londonderry town centre on Sunday.

Foul play was one line of inquiry as the tree has been attacked by vandals in previous years - but it seems on this occasion Mother Nature was the culprit.

High winds caused it to tumble over, the council said.

Warning cones were placed at the base of the tree while council staff investigated its demise and social media users commented on the incident.

One woman wrote on Twitter: "So Magherafelt's Christmas tree is down... #ohdear."

Last night, the Sinn Fein chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Linda Dillon, told the Belfast Telegraph she has spoken to council officers to ensure the tree is now firmly secured to withstand inclement weather.

"High winds blew the tree over," she said. "There was no damage to the tree.

"It has been put back up. I am going back to council officers to make sure it doesn't blow over again because we are in for more wind this winter."

The tree will still be decorated and the official light switch-on ceremony will take place on November 28 as part of a festive evening of fun for locals and visitors to the area.

Magherafelt could perhaps learn a lesson from a Co Down town.

Three years ago the Christmas tree in Newcastle, located at the top of the town near the Donard Hotel, blew down three times.

It was eventually replaced with an illuminated metal tree to avoid further mishaps. It was erected last night.

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