Tuesday 22 May 2018

'We can't move on until this is over' - Carrickmines fire families' anguish as inquest into tragedy delayed

Tara Gilbert and Willie Lynch
Tara Gilbert and Willie Lynch
Thomas Connors & Sylvia Connors
People pay their respects at Glenamuck Road South in Carrickmines, Co Dublin, in the aftermath of the tragic fire that claimed the lives of 10 members of the Travelling community. Photo Collins
The scene of the tragic fire at Glenmaluck Road, Carrickmines. Photo: David Conachy
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

RELATIVES of the 10 victims of the 2015 Carrickmines fire say they are angered at the delays in processing the case and holding the inquests into their deaths.

The devastating blaze claimed the lives of five adults and five children when it broke out in the early hours of October 10, 2015.

The victims included 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, their daughters Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie’s brother Jimmy Lynch (39) also died in the blaze at the Glenamuck Halting Site.

Thomas Connors & Sylvia Connors
Thomas Connors & Sylvia Connors

ADJOURNED

A garda investigation is under way and a file is currently with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The inquests were adjourned yesterday after the Coroner’s Court heard the file is still being considered.

Insp Martin Creighton told coroner Dr Myra Cullinane that a comprehensive file had been submitted to the DPP and gardai had addressed some queries that had arisen as recently as last month.

“The file is still being considered. I would look for a six month adjournment, but if we are in a position to come back before then we will,” said Insp Creighton.

The coroner adjourned the inquest until October 4.

Tara and Willie's daughters Kelsey and Jodie died in Carrickmines fire
Tara and Willie's daughters Kelsey and Jodie died in Carrickmines fire

Speaking after the adjournment, 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. By the time the next date in October comes around, it will be three years since the tragedy.”

Jim O’Brien, of the Bray Travellers Community Development Group, who was acting as spokesman for the families, said senior gardai and the coroner have been very supportive of their plight, and the families understand that the case has to be investigated thoroughly.

“But they want an end to this. It is a nightmare for the three families. We know it is a big file and it needs to be fully investigated, but what all three families are going through must be considered,” he said.

“The coroner is anxious to get it moving, the gardai are anxious to get it moving and the DPP can’t rush it, but the families are still suffering and need this to end."

Herald

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