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bonfire code Loyalist Jim Wilson says he was once nearly 'set on fire' at bonfire as teen badly injured

Jim Wilson was speaking on the Nolan Show this morning

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Stephen Nolan responded, "how does that make this better?", when Jim Wilson said he was nearly set on fire himself

Stephen Nolan responded, "how does that make this better?", when Jim Wilson said he was nearly set on fire himself

Stephen Nolan responded, "how does that make this better?", when Jim Wilson said he was nearly set on fire himself

Loyalist Jim Wilson has said he was nearly “set on fire” in the past at a bonfire following the news that a 17-year-old male suffered serious burns at a bonfire in north Belfast over the weekend.

The teen is currently in an induced coma as doctors treat him for burns to 40% of his body and face.

It is understood the young lad lifted a canister of petrol to pour on the fire, but flames from the pyre caused the receptacle to catch fire.

The incident happened in the Silverstream Crescent area the city.

Jim Wilson, a prominent east Belfast loyalist, also said he has previously tried to implement a safety code surrounding bonfires.

Speaking on the Stephen Nolan Show on BBC Radio Ulster this morning Mr Wilson said: “I’d like to send all my best wishes to the young lad who got hurt.”

He added: “I’ve been doing bonfires since I was seven or eight years of age, I’m nearly 70 years of age and I still build a bonfire for all the wee young kids in my estate. I ensure the safety aspects around that.

“One year I was near set on fire myself… It’s impossible to make [bonfires] completely safe.”

Nolan asked: “You were near set on fire yourself?”

“That’s true”, responded Wilson, to which Nolan said: “How does that make this better?”

Wilson said: “I’m just giving you an example of how you can still take as many precautions as you want but you can always have accidents around them.”

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Speaking of the bonfire he attended himself, Wilson said: “We ensured [the children] all stood back. We let them light it but we did it in a safe way.”

He also said he had previously forwarded a draught safety code for bonfires, and entered into an argument with Nolan surrounding the proposals.

Nolan continued: “You have said that you have put down a voluntary code which you thought would make the community safer… I do not understand why you even pay any notice of what anybody else is doing if you can voluntarily do something that will protect your own children and your own families.”

Wilson responded: “I’m trying to make the point to you.. We wanted to try and self-regulate… To give our kids a safer way of doing the bonfires.”

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