Cartoon characters Paw Patrol pulled from Derry Christmas lights switch-on

Paw Patrol had featured heavily in promotional material for the event. Picture by Ray McCarron/Derry and Strabane District Council
John Monaghan

CHARACTERS from a popular children's cartoon show were withdrawn from the Christmas lights switch-on in Derry after it emerged that the show's broadcaster had not given them permission to appear.

Skye and Marshall, from the PAW Patrol cartoon, were not in attendance at the official switch-on in Derry on Thursday night, and have also been dropped from today's Christmas tree event in Strabane.

PAW Patrol were also set to feature at Christmas tree switch-ons in Britain in coming weeks.

Thousands of people gathered in Guildhall Square and Waterloo Street to see Santa Claus turn on the lights.

The involvement of the pair had featured heavily in promotional material, and Derry City and Strabane District Council has said it was "sorry to disappoint people."

Council marketing officer Jacqueline Whoriskey said: "We were contacted very late in the day by the official licensee in America to say that the company we were using did not have the appropriate licences.

"We tried our best to resolve it in time - unfortunately it didn't work out - and are really, really disappointed."

The broadcaster Nickelodeon said it had "not organised or authorised" the characters' trip to the north and added that there are no official PAW Patrol appearances authorised for anywhere in Britain or Ireland at present.

SDLP councillor Shauna Cusack, who was also involved in switching on the lights along with Santa Claus, told The Irish News that she felt the absence of PAW Patrol didn't adversely affect the event.

"There were lots of children there and nobody mentioned it to me. The turnout was great and there was enough going on, there was that much excitement," she said.

"The event organisers put in an awful lot of work. It is something that I think was totally unforeseen."

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