Saturday 3 December 2016

Dublin Fire Tragedy: Community rallies to raise funds for victims of Carrickmines blaze

St Vincent de Paul to meet with Traveller group to organise donation drive

David Kearns

Published 11/10/2015 | 15:46

The tragic claimed the lives of 10 people including pregnant mum Tara Gilbert, her partner Willie Lynch and their two daughters Kelsey and Jodie
The tragic claimed the lives of 10 people including pregnant mum Tara Gilbert, her partner Willie Lynch and their two daughters Kelsey and Jodie
Fr. Derek Farrell, Parish Priest of the Parish of the Travelling Community looks at floral tributes at the scene of the tragic fire at Glenmaluck Road, Carrickmines yesterday. Photo: Tony Gavin. Photo: Tony Gavin 10/10/2015
Floral tributes at the scene of the tragic fire at Glenmaluck Road, Carrickmines yesterday. Photo: Tony Gavin. Photo: Tony Gavin 10/10/2015
An ambulance containing the bodies of the victims leaves the scene of the tragic fire at Glenmaluck Road, Carrickmines, yesterday evening. Photo: Tony Gavin. Photo: Tony Gavin 10/10/2015
A garda lays flowers at the scene of the tragic fire at Glenmaluck Road, Carrickmines, this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin. Photo: Tony Gavin 10/10/2015
State Pathologist Margaret Bolster arrives at the scene of the tragic fire at Glenmaluck Road, Carrickmines, this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin. Photo: Tony Gavin 10/10/2015

Charity group St Vincent de Paul is to meet with representatives from a southside Traveller group to help organise a donation drive to support the victims of a deadly blaze which claimed 10 lives in south Dublin.

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Members of two families, including five children, were killed after a fire broke out at a halting site in Carrickmines, south Dublin, at about 4:20 am on Saturday.

A six-month-old baby was among the dead.

The families were living at the encampment off the Glenamuck Road, just south of the M50 motorway and a few miles from Sandyford village, for about eight years.

The fire is being treated as a tragic accident, Garda said.

Read More: Dublin Fire Tragedy: The young mum who lived for her two little girls... and was 'so excited' to meet her new baby

A spokesperson for St Vincent de Paul said that a meeting was due to take place tomorrow afternoon to finalise plans to help the families of the victims.

Already, local parishioners in the Sandyford area have been collecting donations to pass on to the charity.

Fr Andrew O'Sullivan, parish priest from St Patrick's Church Glencullen led a solemn Sunday Mass of the victims of Saturday's fire in the hills surrounding the city.

"It is a time of sadness and great loss for them. People are very much aware of the fragility of life and how these terrible tragedies can happen without any warning or notice."

Relatives of the deceased, Francis McDonald, with his daughter Margaret Donohue and her son Josh in Carrickmines Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Relatives of the deceased, Francis McDonald, with his daughter Margaret Donohue and her son Josh in Carrickmines Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

He told parishioners: "We have spoken to St Vincent de Paul and if people wish to give in some way they may do so."

He said that those wishing to express their solidarity with the community should contact St Vincent de Paul to donate.

Books of condolence have already been opened in Carrickmines and Sandyford.

Read More: Fire Tragedy: The five adults and five children feared to have died have been named locally

A Garda spokesman confirmed the death toll had climbed to 10 after the baby girl, understood to have been six-months-old died in hospital.

Fr O'Sullivan asked parishioners to prayed for all the dead and injured during Sunday services.

Flowers left at the scene in Carrickmines where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Flowers left at the scene in Carrickmines where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

"We are just remembering them in our thoughts and prayers and on a more practical level the local community are offering their support in every way they can.

"We are going to work with St Vincent de Paul to see what we can do on a slightly bigger scale to help those who have been left behind by this."

Kelsey and Jodie - the two young sisters who perished in a fire at their home
Kelsey and Jodie - the two young sisters who perished in a fire at their home

Parishioner Ned O'Connor loitered in the churchyard after Mass, discussing the tragedy with fellow parishioners.

Read More: President Higgins shocked and saddened by 'most dreadful tragedy'

"It is unbelievable, two families wiped out on one night. This fire is one of the biggest tragedies in the country."

Well wishers brings flowers to the scene of the tragic fire at Glenmaluck Road, Carrickmines, this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin
Well wishers brings flowers to the scene of the tragic fire at Glenmaluck Road, Carrickmines, this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin

He said those at the halting site had been good neighbours.

"They never seemed to interfere with anyone, it is a lovely site, they always kept it very well."

Flowers were laid near the gates of the scene as members of the local community paid their respects.

Read More: Aerial photograph shows how horror inferno obliterated family home

Gardaí are investigating the cause of the blaze but early indications are that it was not a criminal act and it is not being treated as suspicious.

Emergency services said two adults and two children were taken from the scene to hospital while a number of others were confirmed dead at the halting site.

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It is understood the scene was difficult to examine due to the extensive damage caused by the blaze and the number of people caught up in it.

Forensic examinations continued late into the evening with Dr Margaret Bolster, assistant state pathologist, at the halting site leading the technical analysis.

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