Bonfires lit across Northern Ireland as part of eleventh night celebrations

Celebrations at the Pitt Park bonfire in Belfast. Pacemaker
Pitt Park bonfire Credit: Pacemaker Press

More than 250 bonfires were lit across Northern Ireland on Monday night to mark the beginning of the annual Twelfth of July celebrations.

The fires are ignited on the eleventh night, as part of Twelfth of July celebrations to commemorate the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 when Protestant King William of Orange defeated the Catholic King James II.

Traditionally the pyres are burnt around midnight in loyalist and unionist communities across the province.

Pitt Park eleventh night bonfire in east Belfast Credit: Pacemaker press

Fire and rescue crews in Northern Ireland received a total of 203 emergency calls.

As the bonfires were lit, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service responded to 98 operational incidents.

A spokesperson said there was a 12.5% decrease in bonfire incidents compared to 2021, with the night's activity reaching its peak between 11pm and 1am.

They added that between 6pm on Monday and 2am on Tuesday, 35 of the 98 operational incidents NIFRS responded to related to bonfires.

"NIFRS maintained normal emergency response throughout the evening, attending a range of operational incidents including special service calls, a road traffic collision and other emergencies," the spokesperson said.

Police said they were gathering evidence after complaints about election posters and effigies being put on bonfires.

Credit: Pacemaker press
A bonfire builder climbs the side of the Craigyhill bonfire in Larne, as he makes final checks prior to it being lit Credit: Liam McBurney/PA
People stand on Cave Hill in Belfast as they watch bonfires being lit across the city on the ‘Eleventh night’. Credit: Niall Carson/PA
Craigyhill loyalist bonfire in Larne, Co Antrim, on the Eleventh Night Credit: Liam McBurney/PA
The huge bonfire at last year’s ‘Eleventh night’ in Craigyhill, Larne Credit: Niall Carson/PA
The Craigyhill bonfire in Larne. Credit: Presseye,.
Firefighters dose homes with water at the Craigyhill bonfire site.