Thursday 29 September 2016

Carrickmines blaze family now living in house with serious fire safety risks

Independent.ie newsdeskl

Published 04/07/2016 | 08:44

The scene of the Carrickmines fire tragedy in which 10 Travellers died. Picture By David Conachy
The scene of the Carrickmines fire tragedy in which 10 Travellers died. Picture By David Conachy

A family who lost 10 members in a blaze at a halting site are now living in a house with serious fire safety risks.

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Five adults and five children perished when a blaze broke out on their halting site in Carrickmines, South Dublin last October.

Now the Irish Times is reporting that the Lynch family, who are now based in Bray, Co Wicklow, are among hundreds of Traveller families across the state in unsafe, overcrowded condiditons.

According to a series of local authority audits of fire safety the of traveller housing all traveller housing sites in Co Kerry are at risk due to overcrowding.

A young boy blesses himself over the coffin of his cousin who lost their lives in the Carrickmines fire tragedy Photo: Mark Condren
A young boy blesses himself over the coffin of his cousin who lost their lives in the Carrickmines fire tragedy Photo: Mark Condren

In Limerick, the newspaper reports, inappropriate electricity connections, inaccessible or non-existent water hydrants and “significant overcrowding” are identified across the 11 Traveller sites.

Willie Lynch (25) and Tara Gilbert (27) died alongside their daughters Kelsey and Jodie when a fire broke out at their halting site in Carrickmines. Tara was four months pregnant.

Thomas Connors (27) and his wife Sylvia (25) and their children Jim (5), Christy (2) and six-month-old Mary also lost their lives in the fire.

Sylvia’s brother John and 14 other family members are now living at the Lynch home in Bray.

Seven are staying in a three-bedroom council house and eight, including four children, in two small caravans in the backyard.

Wicklow county council carried out an inspection of the site in November and it found that the caravans were too close together with inappropriate electricity and no smoke alarms or fire blankets.

Couple Thomas Connors & Sylvia (Lynch) Connors on their wedding day
Couple Thomas Connors & Sylvia (Lynch) Connors on their wedding day
TRIBUTES: Flowers cover the entrance to tragic halting site

Audits for all 31 local authorities were requested under the Freedom of Information act but just 17 released them.

Of those which released their audits, Tipperary County Council had the most Traveller sites, with 16 inspected between November and December 2015. Overcrowding was an issue in seven sites.

All eight sites in Co Wexford found insufficient smoke alarms, fire blankets and carbon monoxide alarms, with caravans too close together in two sites.

An inspection was carried out at  Woodland Park in Dundalk, and it found more than 16 serious safety issues, including overcrowding, caravans too close together, lack of access for fire-tenders, no smoke or fire alarms, no water hydrants on site and low overhead cables.

Some 23 families were evicted from the site in January with the council citing fire safety concerns.

In Co Kilkenny, three sites were inspected. Among the findings were overcrowding, inadequate access for fire tenders and defective hydrants.

People gather to pay tribute to the ten victims of the Carrickmines fire at the Glenamuck Road Candle Lit Vigil.
People gather to pay tribute to the ten victims of the Carrickmines fire at the Glenamuck Road Candle Lit Vigil.

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