Huge bonfires being built across Northern Ireland ahead of Eleventh Night

One bonfire being built in the Portadown area. Credit: Press Eye

Huge bonfires are being built across Northern Ireland ahead of the annual Twelfth of July celebrations.

They will be lit in loyalist areas late on the 11th July to begin celebrations.

They mark the Battle of Boyne in 1690 when bonfires were lit to welcome and guide William of Orange, or King Billy, to battle with King James II.

Craigyhill Bonfire, near Larne which is nearing 100 pallets high. Credit: Craigyhill Bonfire Larne Facebook Page

This year will see the return of traditional Twelfth of July parades after two years of disruption because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2021 numerous smaller demonstrations were held across 100 locations in Northern Ireland.

In 2020, parades were cancelled entirely with restrictions on public gatherings being in place.

This year, the traditional 18 demonstrations will be held in the following locations: Glenarm, Ballymena, Bushmills, Antrim, Cullybackey, Magheragall, Armagh City, Belfast, Ballygowan, Greyabbey, Newry, Ballymartin, Enniskillen, Limavady, Tobermore, Castlecaulfield, Omagh and Aughnacloy.

"I do not believe there is any other event on these islands that can bring such vast numbers of people onto the streets to enjoy our processions, either by taking part or simply to watch them go by," said Edward Stevenson, the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

One bonfire built in the Portadown area. Credit: Press Eye

"It is a custom which has been maintained for over 200 years, passed through generations, and will continue to be upheld for many years to come," he added.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.