The council has erected a new Christmas tree in Larne after criticism that the previous specimen was “embarrassing” and “disgraceful”.
The disparaging comments were made after a photograph of the initial tree was posted on social media by a member of the public, where pictures of its browning foliage and drooping branches attracted widespread condemnation.
One resident asked if they had got the tree from an “old bonfire site” while others described it as “half dead,” “completely embarrassing,” and “disgraceful.”
“Larne is the worst decorated place at Christmas, it’s shameful,” said one woman.
“Little wonder no one comes to Larne and everyone in it goes out of town to see the switch ons! Community trees are better than the town tree!”
The sorry-looking specimen also attracted censure from elected representatives.
UUP Councillor Mark McKinty stated: “I’m all for recycling, but when your Christmas tree goes up looking like it’s spent a few years on the compost heap, that is a bit much. I’ve asked the Chief Executive to look at this.”
TUV Councillor Ruth Wilson and DUP Alderman Gregg McKeen also contacted the council to voice their concerns.
The lacklustre tree was replaced with a healthier-looking specimen on Tuesday to the delight of locals, with one saying the town was “not a laughing stock for once.”
A spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said that the original tree had been replaced after an inspection, and that the council had “responded to concerns about the condition of the recently-erected Christmas tree in Larne.”