tragic case | 

Man dies after falling from bonfire in Co. Antrim

The man is believed to be around 35 years of age
Antiville bonfire

Antiville bonfire

Christopher LeebodyBelfast Telegraph

A young man has died after falling from a bonfire in Co Antrim on Saturday night, the PSNI has confirmed.

The accident happened at the Antiville bonfire in Larne, not far from a larger one which has been in the headlines in recent days.

The victim is believed to be around 35, and police said he was “assisting in the building of the bonfire” when the accident happened.

The tragedy comes less than 48 hours before bonfires are lit across Northern Ireland in celebration of the Twelfth.

In a statement to Sunday Life, the Ambulance Service confirmed paramedics were called out just before 10pm last night.

A Northern Ireland Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service received a 999 call at 21:37 on Saturday 9 July following reports of a person having fallen from a height in the Fairway area of Larne.

"NIAS despatched a Rapid Response Paramedic, 2 Emergency Crews and a doctor to the incident.

"Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, no-one was transported to hospital.”

DUP MP for the area, Sammy Wilson, attended the scene. He said: “It’s a real tragedy. I think his mum was there shortly after it happened. She is shattered by it. A local minister was also there. There was nothing could be done to save his life. People are shocked and horrified.”

UUP MLA Steve Aiken said it was “very sad news” and added his thoughts were with the man’s family and friends.

East Antrim Alliance Party MLA Stewart Dickson tweeted his condolences to the man.

"Sad news from #Larne as a young man died after falling from a 11th night bonfire being built in Antiville,” he wrote.

"My deepest sympathy goes to his family and friend and the whole community as it reflects on this tragic death.”

Ben Preston, a local minister from Craigyhill Presbyterian Church said: “Just home from the Antiville bonfire in front of the church, the scene of a tragic death this evening.

"As a church, our deepest condolences are with the family and community of Antiville and Craigyhill. Our thanks go to the Ambulance Service, PSNI, and Fire & Rescue Service for their work tonight.

"Flowers can be left on our church fence, you'll be welcome to join us for worship at 11am, and in the afternoon we'll open a drop-in for the community to come and chat or pray, or just have a cup of tea. We'll be here for you.”

Meanwhile, other bonfires across Northern Ireland paid tribute to the man, including the nearby Craigyhill, who wrote on social media: “It is with deepest sympathy the tragedy that happened tonight to a fellow bonfire builder in the Antiville estate in Larne.

“It is with his family wishes that the Craigyhill bonfire carries on and beats the world record in his memory.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his immediate family circle.”

In a statement, the PSNI’s Adrian Bryan said: "Police can confirm that a man in his 30’s has died following an accident at a bonfire site in the Fairway area of Larne last night, Saturday July 9.

“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.”

“Our investigation has commenced and we are appealing for witnesses, especially those who were in the area last night around 10.15pm, to come forward and contact us on 101 quoting reference number 1866 09/07/22.

“Alternatively, you can submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at”

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