The local community of Lisnaskea have been left “very annoyed” after a lorry driving down Main Street last Wednesday, November 11, damaged a number of cables and brackets required for the assembly of the town’s Christmas lights, this newspaper understands.

Ashley Charles, a representative of Lisnaskea Christmas Lights Association, spoke to The Impartial Reporter this week and explained the extent of the damage caused.

He said: “The carrier cables that we use to carry the lights, they are high-tensile wires strung between buildings, and some of them have been damaged. There are brackets on the walls that have been bent and there’s no way that we’ll get them fixed before Christmas now.

“There were BT wires taken down as well, so it wasn’t as if our wires were too low. There were several shops without BT internet or a telephone for most of Thursday,” he added.

Commenting that there was “quite a lot of damage”, Ashley noted that, as yet, nobody has come forward to take responsibility and he asked: “Who is going to pay for it?”

He added: “I’m disappointed that the guy who was in the lorry hasn’t held his hands up yet. Everybody is very annoyed about it because from what we can tell, he stopped twice – once in the town, and once just out of town, so he knew what he’d done.

“We won’t have a full array of Christmas lights this year; one, for the damage that’s been done; and two, we just have to watch ourselves and be careful this year, to see what we can do without putting the whole thing in jeopardy.”

Ashley said the Christmas lights budget is tighter than usual because, due to the pandemic, the association aren’t able to hold their annual draw, which usually helps with funds.

In previous years the association would have also asked local businesses to contribute, but decided against that this year in light of the current circumstances.

“We used to go around the businesses and ask them for money, but we thought it wasn’t going to be fair this year,” said Ashley. He continued: “Some businesses have said they are going to post in a cheque anyway, but we’re not going to go to them and say, ‘We need money for the lights’.”

Trying to stay optimistic, Ashley added: “We are going to try and get as many lights up as possible.”

A spokesman for the PSNI said: “We are appealing for information after a vehicle damaged a number of BT poles and power lines in Lisnaskea. We are particularly interested in a royal blue-coloured Scania lorry with a yellow rear scrap metal container.

“The lorry appeared to be carrying a large quantity of scrap with some protruding from the container, which may have caused the damage. The cab had an orange light on top, with a white LED light on either side. The vehicle also has orange running lights up both sides.

“The vehicle passed through Lisnaskea at approximately 4.55pm. If you saw the vehicle and noted its registration, or know the identity of the owner, please get in touch via 101, quoting reference number 1358 of 11/11/20. Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously.”