Northern Ireland

Rudolph the red-nosed republican?

Rudolph the reindeer and a snowman
Image caption Naughty or nice? Rudolph in his controversial scarf

Is Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer in danger of being put on Santa's naughty list?

DUP MLA for Mid Ulster Ian McCrea has been made aware of certain allegations against Santa's favourite reindeer who was recently spotted in Cookstown.

Rudolph, a snowman, a polar bear and some other friends turned up in Cookstown on 25 November to help Santa switch on the town's Christmas lights.

Mr McCrea has since been contacted by a number of his constituents who alleged that Rudolph and some of the other characters were wearing green, white and orange scarves.

The MLA said that he has been sent a number of photos from members of the public who attended the event.

Irish flag

The senders felt that the colours of the scarves on some of the characters were meant to represent the Irish flag and were offensive.

"Having viewed the pictures I can see how people can feel offended as the colours look to me like green white and orange," he said.

"Whilst I have no doubt that there was no intention to cause offence, the reality is that it did and it is important that lessons are learnt and the choice of colours are considered wisely, especially at an event where all communities come together."

Mr McCrea told the BBC that Cookstown District Council would be investigating the matter.