Town centre’s Christmas lights vandalised in March

Darryn Causby with the cut cables.
Darryn Causby with the cut cables.

Portadown town centre has been plagued with ‘Christmas’ vandalism – in the middle of March.

Weekend vandals have been ripping the cables from the line of trees that enhance West Street in the vicinity of St Mark’s Church – trees which contain the Christmas lights that remain in place all year round through all weathers.

Councillor Darryn Causby, the acting chairman of the ‘shadow’ ABC Council (which comes in to power on April 1), discovered on Monday six cables ripped from the trees, where they are connected to underground power supply which was installed during the public realm work in the town centre five years ago.

He said, “We have called in the police and asked them to keep an eye on these vandals who have being doing this over a period of time. It means that wires are left exposed, and the council invariably moves in as quickly as possible to repair the damage. This has happened a number of times since the start of 2015 - after the lights were switched off.

“The coloured lights are intertwined with the branches of the trees and make a very attractive display at Christmas time. It would be labour intensive to remove them every year and then put them back in place at Christmas.

“The lights are very sturdy, and it’s only a matter of connecting them at Christmas via the power supply that’s in a convenient place. It’s hard to understand the mentality of these people.

“I take this vandalism personally, as I campaigned two years ago for an extra £10,000 for the extra lights and the full council agreed. But these vandals are making things so difficult and we may have to come up with another solution. It really is an terrible nuisance.

A spokesperson for the council confirmed that the police had been asked to keep an eye on the area, especially at weekends, and Councillor Causby appealed to the weekend revellers to “stop this silly, futile and expensive nonsense”.

Our picture shows Councillor Darryn Causby with the severed cables at West Street.