Bonfire Rises from the ashes

Some of the ladies who helped to rebuild the bonfire at Old Warren after the first one was set alight. US1527-568cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Some of the ladies who helped to rebuild the bonfire at Old Warren after the first one was set alight. US1527-568cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

The Old Warren community has bounced back after an attack on its bonfire appeared to have put the estate’s Eleventh Night celebrations in jeopardy.

The community was devastated a fortnight ago when the bonfire was set alight early in what police called a hate crime.

However, the community has rallied together and like a phoenix from the flames, the bonfire has arisen bigger and better than ever.

The estate will now celebrate the Eleventh Night as planned.

The PSNI previously described how they attended the fire after receiving a report that the bonfire had been set alight.

“We are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding a fire being lit in the Old Warren area of Lisburn,” explained a spokesperson for the PSNI. “A hate-related motivation is one of the lines of inquiry.”

The ladies and children in the Old Warren community were particularly upset by the incident and have gone out of their way to collect wood and do everything they can to help to rebuild the bonfire at the bottom of Drumbeg Drive.

They were looking forward to enjoying their family night on the Eleventh and were determined not to let the attack upset their plans.

Philip Dean, Chairman of the Resguram Trust in Old Warren, said the incident was deeply upsetting, especially for the young people who had worked to build the bonfire over recent weeks and months. Despite their work going up in flames, Mr Dean said the entire community had been galvanised and everyone was working hard to make sure the new bonfire would be twice the size of the one that had been destroyed.

Denis Paisley from Resurgam Trust also praised everyone who has worked to reinstate the bonfire, which will be in place at the bottom of Drumbeg Drive in the estate for Saturday night’s festivities.

“Other areas have been very supportive,” explained Mr Paisley. “The main message from community is that it was an attack on our kids, they were devastated.

“There’s nothing happening other than hard graft.”