In a joint statement issued on behalf of the Banbridge Ulster Unionists they said: ”We as a group believed more could be done than just a wet brush brush clean-up and have been pressing Council on this issue.
“Thankfully through this pressure Council has secured funding to clean up this historical monument.
“The tender process has been completed and contractor has been appointed this week and they estimate that the works will last approximately two weeks but Council haven’t yet agreed a start date with them as we will likely be hampered by the erection of the Christmas tree in the vicinity of the monument.
“There will also be weather factors to consider when we look towards getting a start date.”
The prominent monument in Banbridge, which was constructed in 1862 and designed by WJ Barre with carvings by Joseph Robinson Kirk, honours one of the town’s famous sons Francis Rawdon Moira Crozier who was an Irish officer of the Royal Navy and polar explorer who participated in six expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic.
Crozier attended school locally in Banbridge, with his brothers William and Thomas, and lived with his family in Avonmore House which his father had built in 1792, in the centre of Banbridge.
He joined the navy at the age of 13 and in May 1845, he was second-in-command to Sir John Franklin and captain of HMS Terror during the Franklin expedition to discover the Northwest Passage, which ended with the loss of all 129 crewmen in mysterious circumstances.