Man falls to his death helping build 50ft wooden bonfire


Police are at the scene by the bonfire which will be dismantled following the tragic fall (Picture: PA)

A man has died after falling from a 50ft bonfire in Northern Ireland.

The construction of the Antiville fire was nearly finished when the man plunged to his death from a wooden pallet.

Emergency services rushed to the scene in Larne, Co Antrim on Saturday night, but the man, believed to be in his mid-30s, was pronounced dead.

The fire was one of many being built in loyalist areas across Northern Ireland ahead of traditional ‘Eleventh Night’ celebrations.

They are lit to usher in the main date in the Protestant loyal order parading season – the Twelfth of July.

Police maintained a low-key presence at the site this morning. MP for the area Sammy Wilson said the community is in shock.

‘My thoughts and sympathy are with this man’s family,’ the DUP MP said.

‘It is a real tragedy at what is a special time of year for people in the loyalist community.


A massive bonfire is prepared in the Loyalist Craigyhill area of Larne, Northern Ireland, towers above the surrounding houses on Friday, July 8, 2022. The bonfire builders hope to break the world record for tallest bonfire in the world. Thousands will be lit in Protestant areas on the evening of July 11 to mark the Battle of Boyne 1690 when King William of Orange defeated King James. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A record-breaking bonfire is being prepared in the same town and will be lit in honour of the man who died (Picture: AP)

‘The family are well-known in the area, and I am sure this will be greatly felt within the community.’

Mr Wilson said he understood the bonfire would now be removed by members of the community. Witnesses are urged to come forward.

Inspector Adrian Bryan said: ‘We understand that the man was assisting in the building of the bonfire when this tragic accident occurred. Our thoughts are very much with his family at this time.’

The fatal fall comes as Larne had been making headlines for another bonfire in the town.

Bonfire builders in the nearby Craigyhill estate are attempting to break a world record for the tallest bonfire, which currently stands at 198 feet.

The builders said they will continue with their record bid in tribute to the man’s memory.

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