Tuesday 17 January 2017

Dublin Fire Tragedy: Poignant tribute to the 'little souls' who died in blaze

Michael McHugh

Published 11/10/2015 | 17:03

A local priest leads a prayer at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A local priest leads a prayer at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
People gather as toys and flowers are left at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Chief fire officer Pat Fleming (left) and assistant chief fire officer Dennis Keeley at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Assistant chief fire officer Dennis Keeley at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Toys and flowers are left at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A woman leaves flowers outside a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaks to locals at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A woman arrives to leave flowers close to the scene of a fire in Carrickmines, Dublin, Ireland, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Ten people from two Irish Gypsy families, half of them children, died Saturday when their mobile homes caught fire before dawn. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A forensics officer walks past toys and flowers left at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Flowers are left at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A message in a book of condolence has bade farewell to five "little souls" killed in a blaze at a travellers' halting site.

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The poignant note outside a supermarket in a pretty village close to the scene of Saturday's tragedy read: "Rest in peace little souls."

Toys and flowers are left at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Toys and flowers are left at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Relatives of the deceased, Francis McDonald, with his daughter Margaret Donohue and her son Josh at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

At the scene youngsters laid flowers, looking overawed by the occasion of one of Ireland's worst fire tragedies.

Another message said: "Fly high with the angels."

Behind the police cordon a child's buggy and a youngster's chair lay abandoned, a moment frozen in time as forensics officers combed the scene.

The articles of any childhood were juxtaposed with Garda vehicles and the mangled remains of one of the blackened prefabs which caught fire on Saturday - which one well-wisher said was every parent's nightmare.

People gather as toys and flowers are left at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
People gather as toys and flowers are left at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A man and his dog outside a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Among the tributes were a white teddy bear on a horse and an icon of the Virgin Mary with a baby Jesus.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke to some children who had visited to lay flowers, asking had they heard the ambulances which arrived on Saturday night - too late for some.

Dublin's firefighters risked their lives to rescue the injured from fierce flames, a debt acknowledged by members of the travelling community and local dwellers who piled flowers on top of flowers.

One bunch was balanced so precariously it fell and another well-wisher picked it up again, placing it delicately on top of the growing heap of bouquets.

It took up half the footpath on a busy roadside which led towards the beautiful hills which surround Dublin.

Sunday joggers slogging up the hill paused momentarily to pay respects. Well-wishers blessed themselves after saying prayers.

And the forensics experts in hard hats continued their work.

Well-wisher Clare Clifford, 32, a new mother from the nearby village of Stepaside, empathised.

"I had a bereavement in my own family a couple of months ago and can only imagine what having ten members of your family killed must be like,family and friends, it is unbelievable.

"The loss of young life... it is very sad."

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