Portadown Castle bonfire will be ‘something Northern Ireland has never seen before’

The builders of a new castle bonfire in Portadown have revealed what inspired their unique design.

Corcrain and Redmanville bonfire builders have come up with a new style of bonfire for July 8, which they believe will provide a safer night for all attendees while giving them something they don’t. have never seen before.

Last year, their bonfire was 280 pallets high, but they felt that building bonfires that high was becoming untenable due to the dangers it could pose to the community.

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After meetings with local residents and the council, the builders have developed the castle bonfire which they hope will show the positive aspects of their culture and heritage across the world.

They also agreed to light the bonfire on Friday, July 8, as July 10 is a Sunday and the community felt it would be best to hold the celebration a few days earlier.

The Bonfire at Corcrain Castle and Redmanville in Portadown

Speaking to Belfast Live, Andre Austin said: “Last year we had a huge bonfire 280 pallets high and it was starting to worry the local community because of the dangers it could pose to people. , especially with the added risk of collapse.

“We felt that reducing the height of the structure was the best thing we could do and instead of trying to build the tallest bonfire in Northern Ireland and competing with Ballycraigy and Craigyhill, we decided to do something completely different and build a bonfire that no one has ever seen before.

“The idea for the castle bonfire came from our celebrations last year called Disney Land of Ulster, and we thought if people were going to say that, we should give them a castle.

“Over the past few years we have done a lot to get rid of the negative things that can be associated with bonfires and seek to promote all that is positive about our heritage and culture.”

The Bonfire at Corcrain Castle and Redmanville in Portadown

Andre said bonfire builders have been gathering for the bonfire since last winter and there has been a real community effort to put it all together.

He said: “There are 10 adults who oversee the bonfire every year and the others who help are young people and teenagers, so everyone can get involved.

“Over the past year we have all been collecting pallets and everything prepped and ready with the first pallets on site the second week of April.

“We don’t have the manpower that some other bonfires will have, but I doubt there’s anywhere that’s built anything like ours this year.”

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