Newry's dismal Christmas tree got festive makeover ... thanks to Belfast Telegraph
A CHRISTMAS tree that was branded "disgusting" by locals has been revamped after a public outcry.
Newry council officials hastily reacted to disappointed residents and business owners in Newry after they blasted the city's tree as "bland".
Hours after the Belfast Telegraph revealed the anger of local people, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council was spotted putting up new lights and decorations.
The revamped tree was a vast difference from the lacklustre decorations which drew in strong criticism from ratepayers who described it as laughable.
Images of the spruced-up festive tree was met with praise from locals.
SDLP councillor Gary Stokes said it made a big improvement. He added: "It's looks a lot better. I spotted it a few hours after it went up and it looks the part.
"Everyone is now saying on social media that it looks great. The council seems to have got the message, which is great.
"It took a bit of pressure from the public and media to get them moving but it's all sorted and it looks like a very different tree now.
"It makes all the difference to the town centre."
One social media user said: "The council capitulated to negative media criticism coupled with social media outrage and they have revamped the tree... hallelujah.
"Great to see Newry and its so-called 'Christmas Tree' is making the news in the Belfast Telegraph for all the wrong reasons and has been shortlisted for the worst 'Dull and Drab' Christmas Tree in the North of Ireland if not the Island of Ireland.
"Our council should be totally ashamed of itself."
A Council spokeswoman said: "Newry, Mourne and Down District Council confirms that it recently replaced the lights and improved the Christmas tree on Hill Street, Newry." Last month, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council was also forced to remove its tree in Banbridge after it was branded among the worst in Northern Ireland, and was replaced with a better one.