Sunday 23 October 2016

President's poignant tribute to the families

Published 11/10/2015 | 02:30

President Michael D. Higgins
President Michael D. Higgins

President Michael D Higgins led tributes to the nine confirmed members of the same extended family who died in the Carrickmines inferno.

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"I am shocked and saddened to learn of their deaths and the injury to several others in Carrickmines earlier today. This is a most dreadful tragedy," the President (pictured) said.

"My thoughts at this time are with the families and friends of those who have lost their lives and those who have been injured.

"I have asked to be kept informed on this shocking event throughout the day".

Echoing the shock and sadness that reverberated around the country as news of the tragedy broke, Tanaiste Joan Burton expressed her deepest sympathies with those who had lost their lives and sent her best wishes for those who were injured.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin asked that the family be remembered in prayers during today's Masses.

He said the horrific news of the early-morning blaze at the temporary halting site was "heartbreaking for all in the Traveller and wider local community."

In the meantime, Fr Derek Farrell, parish priest of the Parish of the Travelling People in Dublin, is counselling the bereaved families.

Communications and Energy Minister Alex White, whose south Dublin constituency includes the halting site, visited the scene, describing it as "absolutely numbing for all the community and the whole country to know that these people have lost their lives here".

The Taoiseach has described the fire that claimed the lives of 10 people as an "unspeakable tragedy".

Enda Kenny said his thoughts were with the bereaved. He joined President Higgins in expressing his sympathies on behalf of the entire country to the friends and friends of the victims of the blaze.

Speaking in Castlebar, he said the deaths were an horrific tragedy.

Mr Kenny said a full technical examination would be carried out to discover the cause of the blaze.

Sunday Independent

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