‘Frustrating’ : Vandals target Ireland’s tallest Christmas tree and lights again in Derry

Police and the Mayor have confirmed further episodes of vandalism targeting Derry’s stunning Christmas tree and lights in the city centre this week.

Saturday, 4th December 2021, 2:38 pm

Mayor of Derry & Strabane Graham Warke warned those behind these latest attacks that they risked causing harm to themselves and others by their actions at the electric light displays.

CCTV meanwhile is currently being checked to try and identify the perpetrators.

“I was hoping not to have to reissue this message again – but the vandalism of Christmas decorations continues - so once more I am appealing to everyone to please have a bit of sense and some respect for public property,” the Mayor said.

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Derry's Christmas Tree is believed to be the tallest in Ireland. (Photo Martin McKeown)

“These decorations belong to everyone and a lot of work has gone into installing and maintaining them. I think you would agree that the City Centre is looking amazing and the decorations bring joy to so many people.

“Vandalism not only spoils the festive spirit, it poses a significant risk to the perpetrators. Many of the Christmas installations and tree lights are powered by electricity with cables running through which could cause serious injury if damaged, not to mention the risk of slips or falls.

“So please – be mindful of others and refrain from any behaviour that will cause damage or injury!”

Police meanwhile have confirmed they are investigating damage to the Christmas decorations on the tree at Guildhall Square on Wednesday night.

Some the damaged large-scale baubles from the Christmas tree.

Police said someone had “pulled and damaged a significant number of the ornaments”.

“People of this city have put in hard work to bring light and joy after a hard few years, this act of vandalism is really frustrating for everyone in the City.

“CCTV enquiries continue however if anyone has any information regarding this incident please contact us on 101 quoting reference 27 of 02/12/21.”

The vandalism is the latest in a series of episodes in the fortnight since the lights were switched on by the Mayor and Santa during a lights procession through the city centre.

Just days after the joyous event, Derry City & Strabane District Council was forced to issue a safety warning after a number of the festive trees were damaged.

“Regrettably there have been a number of incidents of vandalism and tampering with the Christmas trees in the city centre since they were erected last week,” a council spokesperson said, adding, “a number of incidents have been reported of damage to baubles and people climbing and crawling inside the trees,” the Council said.

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