Guinness World Records refuse to judge height of loyalist bonfire 5 months ago

Guinness World Records refuse to judge height of loyalist bonfire

The loyalist bonfire reached an unofficial world record height of 202ft last year, but attempts to claim the official record this July have been scuppered.

Guinness World Records have announced that they have no plans to officially adjudicate the height of an Eleventh Night bonfire, built by the loyalist community in Larne.


The pyre, which is already under construction ahead of the events surrounding July 12th in the Craigyhill area of Larne, is the centre of a £9,000 fundraising campaign.

This money was being raised with the intention of paying for an official from Guinness World Records to visit the town in an attempt to claim the title of world's tallest bonfire.

Last year builders of the bonfire claimed that it scaled to an unofficial world record height of 202ft, beating out the previous best of 198ft set in Austria.

However, with more than £1,300 already raised, the organisation behind Guinness World Records have laid waste to any hopes of securing the record.


Loyalist bonfire Last year's reported 202ft bonfire in Larne. (Credit: Mal McCann)

Earlier this week, an SDLP councillor for Belfast, Carl Whyte, said that the "prospect of obtaining a Guinness World Record is unfortunately encouraging bonfire builders to build pyres to heights which are extremely dangerous".

This is a fact borne out by unfortunate events last summer in which 36-year-old John Steele died from a fall during the construction of a bonfire in the Antiville area, a short distance from this year's planned pyre.


Writing to Guinness World Records, the councillor pleaded with the organisation not to become involved with the Larne bonfire builders, out of concern for their safety.

In a brief statement released to Irish News, Guinness World Records said that they "have no plans to send an adjudicator" to assess the height of the Craigyhill bonfire, a decision which Mr. Whyte welcomed.

"I hope that this stance will encourage bonfire builders to keep bonfires within safe limits in future and not put bonfire builders and local communities at risk by building huge pyres".

*Feature image of bonfire courtesy of Mal McCann


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