Northern Ireland

Bonfire from which man fell was built 'without consent' on Education Authority land

Footage taken in Newtownards on July 11 shows people rushing to the aid of a man after he fell from a bonfire in the Portaferry Road area.
Footage taken in Newtownards on July 11 shows people rushing to the aid of a man after he fell from a bonfire in the Portaferry Road area. Footage taken in Newtownards on July 11 shows people rushing to the aid of a man after he fell from a bonfire in the Portaferry Road area.

An Eleventh Night bonfire from which a man fell as it was being set alight was built "without consent" on Education Authority land, it has been confirmed.

The bonfire was built in the grounds of the former Castle Gardens PS in Newtownards.

The Education Authority (EA) has said a "review of the circumstances" of the incident is underway.

Footage shared on social media earlier this month shows the pyre, which was draped with a large Irish Tricolour, being lit on the evening of July 11 before two men climb down from the structure.

One of the men is seen falling a number of feet to the ground before several people rush to his aid.

The man was taken to hospital, and it was reported he underwent surgery for his injuries, which were not believed to be life-threatening.

Read more: 

  • Person hospitalised after suspected fall from Newtownards bonfire
  • What are eleventh night bonfires in Northern Ireland?

The land is owned by the Education Authority (EA), and was the site of Castle Gardens P.S before the school relocated to Bowtown Road in Newtownards in 2001.

On Thursday, an EA spokesperson said it was "aware of an incident at a bonfire on the site of the former Castle Gardens Primary School in which a member of the public was taken to hospital".

“EA can confirm that the construction of this bonfire was without consent," the spokesperson said.

“EA continues to actively engage with partner agencies to undertake a review of the circumstances of the incident.

“No further details are available at this time.”