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Sunday 21 January 2018

Funerals of halting site dead now confirmed

One week on, the acrid stench of fire still lingers at scene of tragedy

The bodies of those who died, five adults and five children, were released to their families yesterday
The bodies of those who died, five adults and five children, were released to their families yesterday

Martin Grant

Funeral details for some of those who died in the Carrickmines tragedy were confirmed yesterday as investigators work to piece together the exact cause of the tragedy.

The bodies of those who died, five adults and five children, were released to their families yesterday.

The funeral for Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Kelsey (4) and Jodie (9), as well as Willie's 39-year-old brother Jimmy, will take place on Tuesday.

Requiem mass will be celebrated at the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer in Bray at midday.

Thomas (27) and Sylvia (25) Connors and their children Jim (5), Christy (2) and five-month-old Mary will all be buried in Wexford later in the week.

Yesterday, a full week after the disaster, the distinctive smell of ash still lingers at the halting site on the Glenamuck Road. he scent of the fierce fire acts as a vivid reminder of the lost lives.

A young garda - whose force in the same week lost one of its own guardians of the peace in the line of duty - yesterday stood on watch.

Hundreds of candles lined the kerbs outside the site.

They illuminated the dark country road leading to the site where mourners turned out for a prayer service in memory of those whose lives were wiped out.

The entrance around the site that was home to the victims remained closed yesterday. It was surrounded by a wall of flowers, tributes, candles, teddy bears, tractors - symbols of the five children whose lives were taken before they were even in motion.

The messages were penned with tears.

"To find any words is impossible. Praying for your three beautiful children and for all those who have left this cruel world. May you all fly high…rest in peace angles," one mourner wrote.

"Our tears are falling and our hearts are breaking for you as you face this unspeakable loss and grief. We pray that God will rain down his comfort on you all," said another of the many nameless messages.

A small teddy dressed in a colourful pink dress represented the little girl; a red tractor rendered visions of the men the young boys would never become; a precious medal asserted the strong religious beliefs of the family.

Adjacent to the site is a local football pitch where young mothers and fathers brought their children to practice yesterday morning.

On Friday evening a well-attended vigil took place in Bray to remember those who had lost their lives in the horrific fire.

Over 200 people - some of the Travelling community, others settled - gathered together in prayer at the Little Bray Family and Resource Centre in Fassaroe to pay their respects.

At the vigil in the crammed centre those gathered were unified in their grief to remember those who died in one of the most horrific fire tragedies the country has ever faced.

Two children, both boys, are still recovering from their injuries but have made significant progress.

A bank account has been established by the local branch of St Vincent de Paul to assist the families.

The account in the Dundrum branch of AIB is: SVP Carrickmines Tragedy, BIC: AIBKIE2D, IBAN: IE38AIBK93312016005289.

The HSE and the Traveller Counselling Service quickly drew up a plan to provide counselling services for adults and children following the tragedy.

Sunday Independent

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