Hundreds have gathered to watch the lighting of two loyalist bonfires as Twelfth celebrations get underway in Northern Ireland.

The Corcrain bonfire in Portadown was set alight at 11:30pm almost 24 hours ahead of the traditional ignition.

The unique bonfire featuring a fireworks display was attended by around 800 people despite heavy rain and a children’s fun day being cancelled.

Firefighters doused nearby houses and a block of flats as a precaution shortly after the pyre collapsed.

Just over 15 miles away in Moygashel, a controversial bonfire was attended by a further 400 spectators.

A replica police car, described as “edgy artistic expression” by loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson was burnt as part of the ‘celebrations’.

The pyre came under scrutiny on Tuesday night when the Belfast Telegraph revealed that a replica police vehicle was placed on top of the bonfire.

Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, Doug Beattie described the placing of the 1.3 tonne Vauxhall Vectra as “absolutely disgraceful”.

Later on Thursday a “record breaking” pyre is due to be set alight in Larne’s Craigyhill Estate.

The 205ft pyre topped with an aircraft beacon has drummed up mixed opinions both on social media and internationally.

On Monday night professional base jumper Stephen Maginnis went viral after he parachuted off the bonfire.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Stephen – also known as ‘Sexy Drummer Bai’ – said he had been planning a jump like that for around five years.

“I’ve been base jumping for 11 years, and 13 years skydiving, so I’ve a lot of experience of being around the world; in the Alps a lot, up in the mountains a lot,” he said.

“Every jump you take differently and I like to do stuff that’s never been done before.”