Carrickmines Fire: Prayers in Rome for victims of tragedy

Prayers will be said in Rome today for the victims of the Carrickmines tragedy as Travellers from Ireland and around the world gather for a meeting with Pope Francis.

The event is being held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a landmark meeting between Pope Paul IV and nomadic peoples in a campsite near the Vatican.

A message from the Pope to all the victims and bereaved of the fire was read at the funeral of five members of the Connors family yesterday as it was for the five members of the Gilbert and Lynch family on Tuesday.

Although it was not mentioned specifically, the difficulties that arose over finding a home for the survivors of the tragedy were also referenced during the service.

It emerged that the survivors have been accommodated in the Glencree Peace and Reconcilation Centre since the fire. They are due to move to a temporary halt in a car park beside a decommissioned landfill site this weekend after attempts to locate them in a greenfield site near their destroyed homes was resisted by residents.

A note of thanks read out on behalf of the Connors family by a family friend referred to the “tense negotiations” that had taken place on their behalf to try to provide for the survivors.

The list of thanks included the emergency services, the fire brigade, Garda liaison officers, and medics who attended the dead, injured, and traumatised.

Chief celebrant Fr Derek Farrell, who will lead the Irish delegation to Rome, said the deaths must be made matter through addressing inequalities between the Travelling and settled communities, the neglect by successive governments and the deeply ingrained prejudices in society.

One of the prayers of the faithful said: “Let us pray for the Travelling community and all Travellers in every country all over the world that we may be accepted in society for our own beliefs and our own culture.”

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