Northern Ireland

‘World’s first base jump’ from controversial 200ft bonfire in Larne

The organisers of the towering Craigyhill bonfire in Larne said the stunt was carried out safely for charity

Video footage has emerged of a base jump from the Craigyhill bonfire in Larne. PICTURE: STEPHEN MAGINNIS
Video footage has emerged of a base jump from the Craigyhill bonfire in Larne. PICTURE: STEPHEN MAGINNIS

VIDEO footage has emerged of what is claimed to be the “world’s first base jump” from a bonfire.

Daredevil Stephen Maginnis posted the clip showing him jumping off the towering structure on Monday evening before his parachute unfolded and he landed safely on the ground below.

If you can’t see the video below, click here.

Posted by Stephen Maginnis on Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Afterwards he said: “Massive thanks to Craigyhill bonfire and cultural page for letting me make this record jump all in aid of charity.”

With nearly £2,000 raised so far, the event was said to be in support of the families of two young girls - Scarlett Rossborough (8) who was killed after being hit by a car in Carrickfergus in August and a 15 month-old cancer patient, Skye Carso



A post on the Craigyhill bonfire page on Tuesday afternoon denied there weren’t any safety concerns with the jump.

“It’s all for a good cause folks ….This guy is a professional base jumper , not some (eejit) with a parachute, he does this for a living plus he has a pilot’s licence as well.”

Bonfire builders claim the 200ft structure is a record but Craigyhill has attracted controversy over pollution, a large cleanup bill for the council and multiple safety concerns over the years.

In April it was reported that hundreds of mattresses had been dumped at the site, which give off toxic fumes when burned.

In 2022, Larne man John Steele (36) also died while building a pyre in the nearby Antiville area.

Base jumper Stephen Maginnis, centre, posed for photos after leaping off the Craigyhill bonfire. PICTURE: STEPHEN MAGINNIS
Base jumper Stephen Maginnis, centre, posed for photos after leaping off the Craigyhill bonfire. PICTURE: STEPHEN MAGINNIS

Mr Maginnis from Co Armagh said the jump had been his own “crazy idea,” but insisted every safety precaution was taken.

An experienced jumper of 11 years, he has previously trained in Europe and said the Craigyhill event had been five years in the making.

“It’s not just if an object is tall enough, you’re taking into consideration the weather and the slope of the object,” he said.

While many would not bet their own safety on top of 200ft of wooden pallets, he still described it as “meticulously built”.

“Honestly, when I’m on the edge about to jump I’m actually very calm because I’ve made so many safety checks.

“I was just excited to get a world first as it’s a very unique object.

“I was expecting a two second drop and a three second canopy flight. I had to pack my parachute a certain way as well to make sure it didn’t catch on to the structure.”

Mr Maginnis said he was hopeful the fundraiser would be a more positive talking point, but was well aware of the criticism that Craigyhill attracts.

“Those guys don’t stick any flags on the bonfire, they try to make it a heritage and cultural night,” he said.

“With the political situation here there’s always people who will never agree with each other.

“The fact is that those guys do their utmost to make this a safe event.

“There’s no one else really from Northern Ireland that does this, now the whole world is seeing someone jump off a bonfire.”