Man dies after fall from Antiville bonfire in Larne

Police at the scene of Antiville bonfire in Larne.
Police at the scene of Antiville bonfire in Larne. Credit: PA

A man has died after he fell from a bonfire in Larne.

Emergency services responded to a 999 call on Saturday around 9.30pm after the incident at the Antiville site in the Co Antrim town.

The man was aged in his 30s. Police said he was helping to build the pyre at the time. They are investigating and have appealed for information.

The bonfire, constructed from stacked wooden pallets, is more than 50 feet tall. It is to be dismantled.

Ben Preston, minister at Craigyhill Presbyterian Church, which is near the bonfire, was at the scene.

“As a church, our deepest condolences are with the family and community of Antiville and Craigyhill,” he posted on Facebook.

“Our thanks go to the Ambulance Service, PSNI, and Fire & Rescue Service for their work tonight.

“Let us remember Psalm 23 ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

He said flowers can be left on the 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 tomorrow [Sunday].”

MP for the area Sammy Wilson, who attended the scene on Saturday night, 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.

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

The Antiville bonfire. Credit: PA

There has been an outpouring of grief on social media.

Bonfire groups across NI offered their condolences. The nearby Craigyhill bonfire group said it would continue on in the man’s memory.

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson offered his condolences to the man’s family and friends as well as the community.

Former UUP leader Steve Aiken described the incident as “very sad news” and offered his condolences.

PSNI Inspector Adrian Bryan added: “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.”He continued: “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

Bonfires are built across Northern Ireland ahead of the annual Twelfth celebrations and are all mainly lit on July 11.