Donal prepares to light up the sky
THE man responsible for
lighting up the sky at Europe’s biggest Halloween
party is putting the finishing touches to Derry's
Donal Neill is the Irish franchisee of Pain
Fireworks, the largest fireworks provider in the UK,
and has won the tender to provide the fireworks on
the River Foyle for Derry City and Strabane District
Council’s Halloween celebrations for the last four
The 2018 Derry Halloween fireworks
display on the River Foyle.
Derry will play host to
over 100,000 revellers during its week long
Halloween celebrations that climax in a parade and
fireworks display on Thursday night, October 31st.
Donal operates out of Eglinton in the outskirts of
the city and his company is the fireworks service
provider for eight of Northern Ireland’s eleven
Councils' Halloween celebrations this year.
“Logistically it’s a major challenge,” he admitted.
”It’s useful to be part of a bigger company as
operators can cross over during busy periods.
“At Halloween some of the English based staff come
over to us and some of the Irish operators will then
go to England to cover Guy Fawkes night the week
Donal Neill of Pain Fireworks on
board the barge at Foyle Port ahead of the Derry
Halloween fireworks display.
Donal explained “We
have five or six operators on the night who load up
the boat and bring it down to the city centre, the
part the public see is easy where we push a button
to start the display and let the programme run.
“Normally there are no problems, it’s a bit like
radio where you don’t want dead air so we have a
back-up box to let off more fireworks if any of them
Highlights of the Derry Halloween festival include
the Awakening the Walls trail around the city
centre, a Carnival Parade, the Legenderry Halloween
food event and of course the fireworks finale.
For more information on Awakening the Walls and
Derry Halloween, visit