There have been other fires since Carrickmines, says Irish Traveller Movement

The Irish Traveller Movement (ITM) is calling for a national review of fire safety on halting sites.

There have been other fires since Carrickmines, says Irish Traveller Movement

The Irish Traveller Movement (ITM) is calling for a national review of fire safety on halting sites.

It follows the conclusion yesterday of the inquest into the Carrickmines fire tragedy, in which 10 people died.

In the Coroner’s Court yesterday, a verdict of misadventure was returned by the jury at the inquest into the deaths of the 10 victims of a fire at the Dublin halting site on October 10, 2015.

Thomas Connors (aged 27), his wife Sylvia (aged 30) and their children Jim, five, Christy, three, and six-month-old Mary died in the fire. Willie Lynch (aged 25), his partner Tara Gilbert (aged 27) who was pregnant, and their daughters Jodie, aged nine, and Kelsey, age four also perished. Jimmy Lynch (aged 39), a brother of Willy, also died in the blaze. The fire destroyed the mobile home in which all 10 were sleeping at the Glenamuck Halting site in Carrickmines, Dublin 18.

The ITM has said overcrowding issues raised in the inquest are getting worse around the country.

It wants a comprehensive review of the 2016 audit which highlighted fire risks in Traveller accommodation.

Director of the Irish Traveller Movement, Bernard Joyce, has said the fire at Carrickmines was not an isolated incident:

Mr Joyce said: "Since Carrickmines, there have been further fires that have taken place on Traveller accommodation and this could well have resulted in further loss of life.

"There are families in sub-standard, overcrowded, poor accommodation that's unacceptable. There are absolutely no excuses for the conditions that the people in my community are living in."

The poor standard of temporary accommodation “is just not acceptable”, he added.

He is calling on the Government to introduce policies and procedures to ensure there is not a repeat of the Carrickmines fire tragedy.

The deaths in Carrickmines should “shock and shake the very foundations of the State to act in a rapid way to ensure no such tragedy occurs again,” said Mr Joyce.

“A tragedy on that scale should never happen again,” he told RTE’s Morning Ireland.

Mr Joyce said it was “absolutely shocking” that in 2019 budgets allocated by local authorities are being unspent, year after year, to address temporary accommodation provisions for Travellers.

An expert group is due to present its findings on the Traveller Accommodation Act in the first quarter of this year, he said. “We’ll be asking that review to look at overcrowding, accommodation that is over used, and the lack of delivery of new accommodation. This is exacerbating the Traveller accommodation crisis.”

Mr Joyce said that the Traveller community is “at crisis, breaking point”.

He said: “We are looking at a situation that is horrific, disturbing and upsetting.

“We’re upset that we’ve lost members of our community in a tragedy that could have been avoided.”

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