Thursday 18 January 2018

Bodies of blaze victims are released to families for funerals next week

Robin Schiller

The bodies of the 10 adults and children who tragically died in a fire at a halting site on the Glenamuck Road, in Carrickmines, Dublin, last Saturday have been released to their families.

The first of the funerals will take place in Bray early next week.

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, are expected to be laid to rest in Bray on Monday or Tuesday.

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.

Last night, hundreds of people gathered at a candlelight vigil at the Little Bray Family and Resource Centre in Fassaroe, Bray, as a mark of respect.

Five of the victims of the blaze previously lived in this estate and had close connections with the community.

The service opened with hymns sung by close friends and family of the deceased including a moving rendition of 'Amazing Grace'.

Fr Derek Farrell of the Parish of the Travelling Community led prayers to remember the 10 who died in the tragic fire.

Framed pictures of the victims were placed on a makeshift altar at the entrance to the community centre.

Meanwhile, discussions are still ongoing between residents of Rockville Drive and Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council over the proposed construction of a temporary halting site in the estate.

Several prominent TDs and local politicians have refused to ask protesters to call off their demonstration against the proposed temporary halting site.

Residents received a letter on Tuesday morning informing them that work would begin on a plot of land in the estate to accommodate the 15 survivors of the fatal blaze with the occupants expected to live on the site for eight months.

However, angry residents proceeded to block the entrance to the land as they objected to the manner in which they were told and feared it would be a permanent settlement.

One homeowner, who did not wish to be named, revealed that he had spent several hundred euro purchasing security equipment in recent days over concerns that his home may be targeted over the blockade of the site.

"I bought a CCTV camera for €300, and it'll cost another €200 to get it installed. I'm concerned of backlash over what is happening," the homeowner explained.

"The site isn't suitable for several reasons and we're just not happy with the temporary accommodation being put here... I'm feeling intimidated over our position.

"Around seven families have also moved out of the area for the time being as they are afraid they will be attacked over all of this," he added.

Irish Independent

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