Carrickmines victims may not be buried for days

The five children and five adults who perished in the Carrickmines fire tragedy last weekend may not be buried for a number of days because of difficulties in identifying the remains.

Carrickmines victims may not be buried for days

Garda forensic experts returned to the Traveller halting site in Dublin yesterday to resume their examination of the scene. Investigations are expected to continue for some time.

Two children remain in hospital, one in a stable condition while another has been described as serious but stable.

Officials from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council are trying to organise temporary accommodation for the 14 people made homeless by the fire last weekend.

A spokesperson for the Irish Traveller Movement said the adults and children were members of an extended family group and wanted to remain together.

Officials from the HSE, Department of Social Protection, and council officials met yesterday to discuss the immediate and continuing needs of the families.

The Southside Traveller Action Group, which has been supported by the Irish Traveller Movement, laid a wreath at the shrine just outside the halting site last night.

A fund to help the people made homeless by the tragedy is being co-ordinated by the Society of St Vincent de Paul.

The director of the Southside Traveller Action Group, Geraldine Dunne, said many people had contacted it with offers of help.

There is no evidence that the fire that engulfed a portable building and spread to another was started deliberately.

A full report on how the fire started is expected to take weeks to complete but, in the meantime, gardaí hope to have early indications of the cause.

Thomas and Sylvia Connors and their three children died in the fire, together with Sylvia’s brother Willie Lynch, his partner Tara Gilbert, and their two children.

Ms Gilbert was pregnant with the couple’s third child while Mr Lynch’s brother, Jimmy, was the 10th victim.

Tara Gilbert with her partner Willy Lynch and their two daughters Kelsey and Jody.
Tara Gilbert with her partner Willy Lynch and their two daughters Kelsey and Jody.

Autopsies have been completed at Tallaght Hospital by the assistant state pathologist.

While all of the victims have been named, official identification is likely to be based on DNA and dental records.

Fire experts suspect that the fire started in one unit and spread to the second on the small halting facil- ity, originally opened by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council as an emergency measure.

There were plans to develop a new halting site further along the same stretch of road but no ground work had begun.

Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre expressed concern that many Traveller families in Ireland have to live in overcrowded and dangerous situations due to the impact of the housing crisis.

“Travellers are often the hidden victims of the housing crisis,” it said.

The support group said the difficulties in accessing the private rented sector were exacerbated for many Travellers who continued to experience widespread discrimination and find it almost impossible to rent from private landlords.

“This is in addition to the cuts made by the Government to Traveller accommodation under the guise of austerity measures with the budget reduced from €40m in 2008 to €4m in 2013.”

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