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Holywood maypole damaged as weather causes disruption

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The damaged Holywood maypole

The damaged Holywood maypole

The top section of the maypole has broken off

The top section of the maypole has broken off

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The damaged Holywood maypole

Ireland's only surviving maypole has been damaged in Holywood, Co Down, due to strong winds.

The top section of the maypole - which stands at a height of 16.74 metres - has broken off in stormy weather and crashed to the ground.

The maypole was reportedly given as a gift to Holywood's townspeople in 1620 by a crew of Dutch traders in gratitude for the hospitality and assistance they received when their ship ran aground offshore by Belfast Lough.

It is situated at a crossroads in the centre of the town and is still used in annual fairs.

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North Down DUP MLA Gordon Dunne has expressed his alarm that the Holywood Maypole has been by Tuesdays storm and the top section has broken off and crashed to the ground. The MLA added:

North Down DUP MLA Gordon Dunne has expressed his alarm that the Holywood Maypole has been by Tuesdays storm and the top section has broken off and crashed to the ground. The MLA added:

North Down DUP MLA Gordon Dunne has expressed his alarm that the Holywood Maypole has been by Tuesdays storm and the top section has broken off and crashed to the ground. The MLA added:

North Down DUP MLA Gordon Dunne said the damage to the maypole was "alarming" following rough weather conditions.

"It is very fortunate that no one had been walking around the Maypole when the top section detached," he said.

"The wood on the maypole itself which came down was rotten and urgent action is now needed from Ards and North Down Borough Council to get the full maypole restored as a major priority."

A spokesperson for Ards and North Down Borough Council said: "Unfortunately, severe winds and decay have weakened the Maypole to the point of failure.

"A traffic management plan and cherry picker had been booked for 24-26 February to allow the Maypole to be painted.

"However, due to the severe decay of the Maypole, Council will remove the rest of the pole in sections and source a replacement in due course."

The Met Office has issued a warning of wind, rain and a risk of flooding in Northern Ireland for Tuesday.

A yellow warning for rain is in place until midnight, with gusts in excess of 60mph particularly towards the east coast. There is also a risk of surface-water flooding, with mild temperatures overall.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs advised the public not to visit forests, country parks or nature reserves.

Flooding has been reported on on the Irvinestown Road in Enniskillen, while a fallen tree has been recently cleared on the Bryansford Road in Newcastle.

In Castlereagh, the Upper and Middle Braniel Roads have been partially obstructed by a fallen tree.

Belfast Telegraph


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