THE official Ballymena Christmas Tree at The Braid Town Hall has been tumbled … 60 days AHEAD OF December 25!
A lorry moved in as daylight was breaking on Monday morning.
The removal of the Tree comes after Mid & East Antrim Borough Council said on Friday two Christmas Trees had been put in ‘error’ in Ballymena – and were set to be taken down.
A video of the moments the lorry and a crane moved in were shared on social media by Andrew Neilly (see above).
On Friday two Christmas Trees without lights were put up at the Town Hall and in Harryville.
PINING FOR CHRISTMAS? … How the official town Christmas Tree looked at 9am on Monday. Video: Ballymena Daily (see above).
However, within hours the Council then issued a statement on social media which said: ‘Two Christmas Trees were erected in Harryville and Ballymena today. This was an error on our part and they will be take down immediately.
‘These trees will not be in place in both locations until after Remembrance Sunday. We apologise for any offence caused within the community’.
In a message on social media on Friday afternoon, Ballymena DUP councillor John Carson had said: “As Veterans Champion for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council l was as shocked as anyone to see Christmas trees erected in Ballymena today.
“This was never passed in Council and it would appear someone has made a massive error as it is a rule in Council that they do not go up until after Remembrance Sunday.
“Cllr. Gregg McKeen DUP group leader has spoken to senior officers in council and we have been assured that trees will be removed immediately,” the councillor said.
It is believed the additional cost of removing the trees was £300.
Bannside Traditional Unionist Voice councillor Timothy Gaston said: “What an absolute shambles.
“Every year they’re put in place around this time of the year.
“The only decision that was taken was to make sure the lights and trees were not lit before Remembrance Sunday.”