The mother of a young woman who died in a fire in a building with major safety defects is calling for a full investigation of the tragedy to determine what exactly occurred.
Margaret Wall’s 21-year-old daughter Louise and Louise’s boyfriend Mick O’Farrell died in fire in a newly built apartment complex in west Dublin in 2002. The complex was built the previous year by major house builder McInerney Brothers, but an inspection after the fire found that there were a number of defects.
A garda file investigation recommended a prosecution but the DPP declined to press charges. Fifteen years later another fire occupied in the complex and this time there was a major structural investigation that found extensive fire safety and other defects.
Margaret Wall and her husband Richie Brady
“It’s still not resolved,” Margaret said. “People ask how I’m getting on with it. I keep myself busy because if I start down to think about it….”
Richie Brady said a new investigation was needed. “Hopefully something will be done and then we will know that at least the didn’t die in vain,” he said. “The laws have to be more rigorous.”
Louise and Mick’s bodies were discovered by Louise’s brother Shane who two years later took his own life. His mother believes that the trauma of finding his sister and her boyfriend had a devastating effect on Shane which contributed directly to his suicide.
After the 2017 fire, the whole case was taken up by Tony Rochford, an activist who compiled a body of evidence about what had occurred in the 2002 fire.
He became frustrated over the failure to examine the case and made a public protest by mounting a gantry and stopping traffic on the M50. He was subsequently imprisoned for two and a half years over the incident.