Bonfires to be lit across Northern Ireland ahead of celebrations for the Twelfth

The fires are lit ahead of the Orange Day parade tomorrow

Published

Bonfires will be lit across of Northern Ireland later this evening, to welcome in the parading season.

The build-up to the “Eleventh Night” celebrations has been overshadowed by the death of a bonfire builder in Co Antrim on Saturday night.

John Steele, a window cleaner who was aged in his mid-30s, was killed when he fell from a bonfire in Larne that stood more than 50 feet tall.

A vigil was held at the site of the fire in the Antiville estate on Sunday night.

The bonfire was dismantled earlier in the day and the remnants were lit during the memorial event for Mr Steele.

The dismantled bonfire is lit during a vigil where a man died after falling from the bonfire on the Antiville estate in Larne, Co Antrim
The dismantled bonfire is lit during a vigil where a man died after falling from the bonfire on the Antiville estate in Larne, Co Antrim
The Craigyhill Bonfire on the Craigyhill estate, Larne, Co Antrim, the builders are attempting to break a world record for the tallest bonfire, which currently stands at 198 feet
The Craigyhill Bonfire on the Craigyhill estate, Larne, Co Antrim, the builders are attempting to break a world record for the tallest bonfire, which currently stands at 198 feet

A band played at the vigil while a minute’s silence was also held. Wreaths were laid close to the scene of the fatality.

Mid and East Antrim Council, which owns the land where the fire was built, announced on Monday that it was launching an investigation into the fatal fire.

Communities have gathered to build more than 250 bonfires in loyalist neighbourhoods across Northern Ireland, ahead of Monday evenings festivities.

The fires are traditionally lit on the evening of the "Twelfth of July" – a day where marching bands parade commemorating the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

The battle, which unfolded at the Boyne river north of Dublin, saw Protestant King William of Orange defeat Catholic King James II to secure a Protestant line of succession.

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

On Sunday, the builders in Craigyhill vowed to continue with their record bid in tribute to Mr Steele’s memory.

On July 12, there will be 573 loyal order parades.