Bessbrook now looks set to be left without a Christmas try to help share the festive spirit.

And it’s all thanks to the actions of the vandals who could not leave the tree alone!

Staff from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council have now taken it away.

And the Bessbrook Community Residents Association has vented its anger at the culprits – who had actually sawn it down – via Facebook.

“Thanks to the ones who destroyed the Christmas Tree once again,” they posted.

“It was left in such a bad state that the council have actually been and taken it away.

“So once again a big Thank You

“Thanks to you mindless vandals it looks like Bessbrook will have no tree this year.

“You must be so proud of yourselves as must your parents.”

The lights were due to have been turned on on Thursday night but those on the tree had been damaged meaning it could not go ahead.

The tree has now been removed altogether.

Chairperson of Newry, Mourne & Down Council, Cllr Roisin Mulgrew has described the sawing down of the Christmas yree in the village of Bessbrook as a “wanton act of destruction”.

The local councillor was speaking after it was decided to remove the damaged tree from the centre of the village due to safety concerns.

She explained: “The village Christmas tree had all its lights broken and has been sawn practically the full way through. This is not the first time this has happened, as over the past years the tree has been the focus of deliberate attacks.

“The council has had to remove the vandalised tree due to safety concerns. There is a strong possibility that it might not be replaced as many local people feel that those engaged in this wanton act of destruction, will attack it again.

“I share the anger and frustration of all right-minded people at this deliberate attack on a community trying to bring a festive flavour to their village. There is nothing funny about this criminal act of damage and hopefully those who carried it out will be identified and face the full rigours of the law.

“”I have asked council officers to take soundings from the local community on their views about replacing the Christmas tree, as to how secure they feel it will be or whether it is a futile exercise”.