LOYALIST bonfire builders have claimed Catholics are helping to build a huge Eleventh Night bonfire in County Antrim as new concerns have been raised over safety and the potential for rising tensions.
The Craigyhill bonfire in Larne is set to double in size in the coming days as those behind the monster pyre aim to break a height record.
Already rising to around 100ft, those involved in the construction say they need to reach over 198.5ft to beat the previous mark.
There was controversy last year when the huge pallet woodshed collapsed after being set on fire.
Last night Sinn Féin councilor James McKeown said residents on both sides of the community had raised concerns about the stake, including its proximity to a children’s play park.
He said “health and safety should be paramount” and that there were also fears about “the potential for anti-social behavior and heightened tensions in the region”.
While the sight of bonfire builders perched on small platforms built into the side of the bonfire has also raised concerns, a spokesperson for the bonfire builders said “health and safety is the priority number one”.
He said organizers were trying to make the event “open to everyone” and said Catholics helped build the bonfire and also sat on the organizing committee.
“They’re just taking advantage of it because there’s nothing sectarian about it, it’s about having a bonfire,” he said.
The spokesperson said no election flags or posters will be placed on the bonfire.