Video: Flags row forgotten as Castledawson Christmas lights go on

Several hundred attended the switching on of Castledawson’s Christmas lights tonight.

The village was at the centre of a row over flags when Sinn Fein controlled Magherafelt District Council threatened to withhold the lights unless the local community group entered into a flags policy.

A great night was had by all at the switch on of Castledawson Christmas lights on Monday night of this week.INMM5014-445

A great night was had by all at the switch on of Castledawson Christmas lights on Monday night of this week.INMM5014-445

The group insisted it was a cross community organisation which had no control over the erection of Union flags along Castledawson’s main street.

After a number of meetings involving councillors and representatives from the community group, the council did a U-turn and gave a grant of £200 towards the festivities.

Speaking at the switch-on, Castledawson Community Association spokesperson Fiona Fullerton said they were delighted with the turnout.

“We are just happy to have got this length,” she said. “Things didn’t look too promising for us a few months ago.”

The Christmas lights were switched on by four children from New Row Primary, Castledawson Primary and a local play school - helped by Santa.

A choir made up of representatives from all the churches in the village sang Christmas Carols.