Wednesday 18 September 2019

Inquest into deaths of 10 in horror blaze at Carrickmines halting site to resume

Fire officers at the scene of the horrendous blaze in 2015. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Fire officers at the scene of the horrendous blaze in 2015. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

The inquest into the tragic deaths of 10 people from a fire at a halting site will resume today.

Five adults and five children died following a blaze that broke out at the temporary site at Glenamuck, Carrickmines, Dublin, in the early hours of October 10, 2015.

In 2017, gardaí completed an investigation into what happened and sent the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who decided against bringing any charges.

That decision meant the inquest into the deaths can resume, having been adjourned by coroner Dr Myra Cullinane.

The fire is believed to have started in one unit and quickly spread to another.

The victims were Thomas Connors (27), his wife Sylvia (30), and their children Jim (5), Christy (3) and six-month-old Mary; Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27), who was pregnant, and their daughters Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4); and Jimmy Lynch (39), a brother of Willie.

The previously adjourned inquest heard they died due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The victims were identified, with the help of Dr Alan Magee, using DNA evidence.

Ten post-mortem examinations were carried out by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy and Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.

The cause of death was acute carbon monoxide poisoning due to smoke inhalation as the result of a fire.

The council has previously acknowledged units at the halting site were moved during upgrade works in March and April 2015, six months prior to the fire.

Relatives of those who died have said the new configuration left some units too close together.

In March last year relatives of the 10 victims said they were angered at the delays in processing the case and holding the inquests into their deaths.

Speaking after the adjournment at the time, relative Sindy Lynch said she had expected the case to be delayed by a few weeks, but did not think it would be six months.

"We want to be able to move on with our lives, but we can't until this is over," she said. "We want to see justice for our families."

Irish Independent

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