Tag Archives: Carrickmines

The aftermath on the morning of October 10, 2015 at a halting site on Glenamuck Road in Carrickmines, Dublin 18 where a fire broke out killing Thomas Connors, 27, his wife Sylvia, 30, and their children Jim, five, Christy, three, and six-month-old Mary; Willie Lynch, 25, his partner 27-year-old Tara Gilbert, who was pregnant, and their daughters Jodie, aged nine, and Kelsey, four; and 39-year-old Jimmy Lynch, a brother of Willy.

Kevin Higgins writes:

Below is a poem I wrote at the time of the Carrickmines fire (and the resident’s protest against the surviving traveller’s being temporarily relocated) and published in 2016.  I thought, given the 5th anniversary, it might be suitable.

After the Barbecue

People like us,
always been here
and always will,
until we bequeath this land
to the bacteria.
We were fine with
the War of the Spanish Succession,
only thought it not quite long enough.
When the day gets here we’ll happily
bless our great-grand-children as they go guffawing
off to the next officially sanctioned
bloodbath of the nations. But have agreed,
by unanimous vote at tonight’s meeting,
we must
build a barricade against this.

Those people’s demise –
Thomas and Sylvia, their children Jim, aged 5;
Christy, aged 2 and Mary, five-months-old.
Willie Lynch and his partner Tara,
their Kelsey aged 4, Jodie aged 9.
And Jimmy Lynch, 39 –
in the Carrickmines
barbecue is a tragedy

made all the worse by how
it contented itself
with half-measures.
We won’t have the gypsy leftovers put
in the field across from us,
to mar our hard earned view
of the surrounding countryside.

We are not the Ku Klux Klan,
in fact are profoundly jealous
of their much better outfits
and all the great movies
they, without fail, get to turn up in.
We but dream of riding horses
sharp as theirs, as we make our stand
in defence of what we see out the window
when we alight of a morning
on our genetically superior
polished, wooden floors.

These people’s Kentucky Fried
relatives are not our issue to solve.
We have scribbled our names
in their book of condolences.
but you, me, and The Evening Herald know
we are what most of the country thinks
when it draws its floral curtains,
shuts its eyelids and tells itself
truths it will never utter in polite company,
or in front of nuns who do great work
in the third world and other parts
of Africa. We realise
we’ll be vilified by people
the majority of whom wouldn’t have them either.

We just don’t want them here,
or, if possible, anywhere else.

Kevin Higgins

Previously: Carrickmines Fire on Broadsheet


A vigil for the victims of the Carrickmines halting site fire in 2015


A jury at the Dublin Coroner’s Court returned a verdict of misadventure at the inquest into the deaths of 10 victims of the Carrickmines halting site fire in October 2015.

The Carrickmines fire claimed the lives of Thomas Connors (28), his wife Sylvia (30), and their children Jim (5), Christy (3) and five-month-old Mary.

Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27), who was pregnant, and her daughters Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4). Jimmy Lynch (39), a brother of Willie, also lost their lives in the fire.

The halting site had been established as emergency temporary accommodation and, the court heard, was exempt from planning and fire safety guidelines due to its ’emergency’ status.

Further to this…

The Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre have called for laws to be changed to make sure temporary emergency halting sites meet fire safety and planning regulations.

In a statement, Pavee Point Co-Director Martin Collins says:

“This has been a terrible time for the Lynch, Gilbert and Connors families who have had to relive the horror of that night in 2015.

“We hope that this inquest will bring some closure to the families and enable them to move on with their lives.

“Every support should be made available to support these bereaved family members. And we empathise with them at this time.

We are also calling on the Government to amend legislation to ensure that temporary emergency halting sites should meet fire safety and planning regulations so a tragedy like this never occurs again.

This was an emergency temporary site that had been there since 2008. These families should not have been left in these conditions for 7 years. The site was exempt from planning and fire regulations because of its ‘emergency’ status.

“We heard during the inquest that the portocabins did not meet building regulations and that the close proximity of the portocabins “virtually assured” that the fire would spread.

Under Department of the Environment guidelines for temporary halting sites, housing units are supposed to have at least six metres between them and families are supposed to only stay for up to five years.

There are currently temporary emergency sites in existence that have been there for 30 years. And each year money for Traveller accommodation is returned to central government by local authorities – unspent.”

Pavee Point Calls for New Laws for Temporary Emergency Halting Sites (Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre)

Misadventure verdicts on 10 deaths in Carrickmines fire (Louise Roseingrave, The Irish Times)

The halting site in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where a fire killed 10 members of the same Traveller family, one of whom was pregnant, in 2015

Ten members of the same Traveller family, including a pregnant woman, died in a fire at a halting site in Carrickmines, south Dublin, in October 2015.

Those who died were: Thomas Connors, 28, his wife Sylvia (nee Lynch), 30, their three children, Jim, 5, Christy 3, and six-month-old Mary; Willy Lynch, 25, his pregnant partner Tara Gilbert, 27, her daughter Jodie, 9, their daughter Kelsey, four; and Jimmy Lynch, 39 – Sylvia and Willy’s brother.

Further to this…

An inquest into the deaths began this morning.

And RTÉ reports:

“An inquest has heard that the fire that killed ten people at a halting site in Carrickmines, Co Dublin, was caused by a chip pan.

“Detective Inspector Martin Creighton told the Dublin Coroners Court that the source of the blaze in 2015 was found to be an electric cooker in a mobile home at the Glenamuck halting site.

“He said that a chip pan had been left on a hot plate on the cooker.”

“…The council’s director of services Thomas McHugh said the Glenamuck halting site was a temporary emergency site provided in 2008 for families who were living at the side of the road.

“In answer to coroner Myra Cunninane, he said that temporary emergency sites were exempt from housing regulations including fire safety regulations.”

Chip pan was cause of fatal Carrickmines fire, inquest told (RTÉ)

Previously: Travellers And Friends

Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie


Candles left outside the Carrickmines halting site following the fire last October

A year ago today.

A fire at an unofficial halting site in Glenamuck Road in Carrickmines, Dublin, killed 10 members of the same Traveller family, one of whom was pregnant.

Those who died were: Thomas Connors, 28, his wife Sylvia (nee Lynch), 30, their three children, Jim, 5, Christy 3, and six- month-old Mary; Willy Lynch, 25, his pregnant partner Tara Gilbert, 27, her daughter Jodie, 9, their daughter Kelsey, four; and Jimmy Lynch, 39 – Sylvia and Willy’s brother.

This evening, outside the Dáil, the Irish Traveller Movement with other Traveller organisations will hold a silent vigil in solidarity with the families at 7pm.

Those who wish to attend are asked to bring a candle.



Three Fridays ago.

On RTE’s Late Late Show.

Actor and filmmaker John Connors and Irish Research Council scholar in the Department of Sociology at University of Limerick Sindy Joyce spoke to Ryan Tubridy about their new documentary series on the history of the Traveller community.

Just before the very end of their appearance, Mr Connors raised the Carrickmines fire and – specifically – access to water on the night of the fire.

They had the following exchange:

John Connors: “Ryan, I actually have one important thing I want to say: a message from the Connors’ family – from the Carrickmines tragedy, obviously. They just told me to say that, a year on, they’re in the same position they were in, they’re in a rat-infested dump and they’re surrounded by electric pylons with no accommodation plan and a lot of the family have now gotten sick because of the toxins, a little child is very sick. And they all have lung problems.”

“And just, an important thing they wanted me to point out, on the night of the fire, that the ground was welded up, the fire hydrant was welded up so they couldn’t get to the water. Cause the council had welded it up a couple of weeks before – they wanted me to pass that message on.

Ryan Tubridy: “OK, I don’t know the details.”

Connors:We’re still looking for justice here but it’s been forgotten about: no one cares about 11 people being murdered by the State, you know?”

Tubridy: “I would hope people do care, a little bit but I don’t want to trivialise that matter by getting into that now.”

Connors: “No, I thought that you were getting ready to go so I said I’d have to get that one in.”

Tubridy: “I appreciate that but I also don’t want to get into a situation whereby we’d be glib about a story that’s profoundly sad and difficult for that family…”

Further to this…

Meanwhile, in a piece recalling the Carrickmines fire in Saturday’s Irish Times, Kitty Holland reported:

Jim Connors [who survived the fire] recalls being woken at about 3.30am by shouting. Two of his sons John and Jim were trying to get into the blazing mobile home. “I looked out. I didn’t know what was going on.”

He had used, over the years, a power hose to clean the site, connected to a hydrant directly outside. However, after complaints, he says the county council cut the water to the hydrant and welded it closed “a few months” before the fire.

The council says a working water hydrant was within 50 metres of the site “which Dublin Fire Brigade used without any impediment” that night.

Until the fire brigade arrived, however, Jim “had just a garden hose that you wouldn’t fill a kettle with”.

Watch back in full here

Traveller families hit by fire disaster prepare for anniversary (Kitty Holland, Irish Times)

Irish Traveller Movement (Facebook)

Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie


Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin was on RTÉ’s Today With Seán O’Rourke earlier during which the ongoing stand-off in Carrickmines was discussed.

Further to this, he tweeted:

Just received this email (above). I’ve hidden the sender’s address. This is what we’re up against.

Carrickmines residents meeting with council over temporary halting site (RTE)

Previously: ‘I’d Urge The Residents To Search Deep Inside Their Conscience’


People who support the plan for Travellers to use the site in Rockville Drive; and Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s statement this afternoon

[The] second meeting between residents of Rockville Drive and Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council officials ended a short time ago. The council has just issued a statement saying, it has taken on board the residents’ concerns and that it emphasised that this site can only be used for a six-month period. They have agreed to continue with discussions.”

Back in the estate, other residents have gathered on the street. Some have expressed anger over allegations being made they are ant-Traveller. They say their concerns about anti-social behaviour and the suitability of the site are well-founded. While a number of them attended last night’s vigil to express their sympathies over the halting site’s deaths.”

A handful of protesters in favour of opening the site arrived into the estate this morning, they claim there is no basis for residents’ fears.”

Joe Mag Raollaigh on News At One earlier.

Meanwhile, the Irish Traveller Movement has posted a piece written by David Joyce on its Facebook page.

Mr Joyce writes:

“Five children dead! Five adults dead! A seriously injured 4-year-old still in hospital! All of whom have died or suffered injury in what may have been absolutely preventable circumstances. Five days or so on from what was and still is, to a large extent, genuine sympathy for the victims? We now have a complete circus of media comment, condemnation, recrimination, and counter recrimination.

“Where is media reasonability in a time of national tragedy? Ireland and the Irish people have suffered a number of tragedies this year. In the summer we, as a nation, lost six young people in tragic circumstances in a foreign country. We all collectively mourned the loss of potential in those young people to our nation arising from that needless tragedy.

When an international newspaper suggested that those victims may have brought it upon themselves and engaged in perpetuating stereotypes of the Irish as heavy-drinking, noisy louts who wreck property, and showed no respect for their neighbours, there was widespread, national repulsion at all levels – forcing a reaction and an apology from the New York Times.

“Five days after a tragedy of greater proportion in terms of loss of life, with victims not even buried, Irish media outlets have gone into a frenzy of victim blaming allowing through their social media sites a river of vitriol that perpetuates stereotypes of Travellers as heavy-drinking, noisy louts who wreck property and show no respect for their neighbours.”

“But not content with such standard poison, the media outlets’ facilitates and allows comments that include ‘10 less robbers’, or ‘who would want robbers thieves or burglars living beside them’.”

“I was born in a caravan and grew up in a Traveller tradition living on campsites and on official halt sites. My two eldest children were also born in caravans and spent their formative years living on halt sites and campsites. One graduated and left Ireland, like many of our young, for economic reasons.”

“He has a found a greater welcome and acceptance teaching in a foreign culture and country halfway around the world then he might ever find in his home country. The other graduated into the medical profession among the top percentile of her class.”

“When I think of the loss of life in Carrickmines, I think of the loss of potential to our community and our nation. I don’t recognise the gross stereotypes of the Traveller community.”

“Of course it is the job of newspapers to report the tragedy as news, and that is what they must do, but when will the Irish media take some responsibility and close down the comment facilities at least until the victims have been buried?.”

“I don’t expect an apology from the Irish media for the victim blaming that has emerged on their media sites. I would expect, in line with one of the greatest of Irish traditions, a semblence of respect for the dead.”

Irish Traveller Movement (Facebook)

Pics: Zara King


A statement from Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council this lunchtime, following discussions between the council and residents of Rockville Drive, Carrickmines.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke to Pat Kenny on Newstalk about the situation unfolding in Carrickmines.

Enda Kenny: “Look, the funerals haven’t even taken place of these ten people. Of course, these things have to be dealt with. But there is a procedure and a process by which you can consult with local people at a time of tragedy and say, “look, we need to use this field”.

Pat Kenny: “Do you think the council jumped the gun?”

Enda Kenny: “Well I think, I think there’s a really deep sensitivity here and obviously consultation and conversation with communities is very important. I hope that can take place today. If not already, if not already done so. The funerals of these adults and innocent children haven’t even taken place yet and obviously the council are more than anxious to accommodate…”

Pat Kenny: “Do you understand the reservations of the residents?”

Enda Kenny: “Well I think, in any community around the country, you have to balance here what’s happened. This is an appalling tragedy with ten people, loss of lives, to stand there in the site and see what’s in front of you, speaks for itself, it’ll never leave my mind actually. So council reacting here saying, ‘where can we house these remaining families in a temporary capacity?’ It’s necessary to consult, of course, with local communities. And I can understand that balances need to be got here. These funerals haven’t taken place yet. And obviously the community will respond in the way that they’ve shown their sympathy…”

Pat Kenny: “But the residents even predicted that they would be vilified for their stance, even though they feel they have a case to make.”

Enda Kenny: “Well I’m not sure, I haven’t seen all the comments about this but, if you’re going to move and make a change in terms of any kind of facility, it’s always good to tell the local community. Invariably they respond when things are fully explained to them and I hope that this can happen here too.”

Taoiseach calls for consultation with local communities over Carrickmines  accommodation (Newstalk)

Previously: ‘I’d Urge The Residents To Search Deep Inside Their Conscience’

Via Richard Chambers


“Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council issued a letter to residents at around 11am this morning informing them that work was to begin on a plot of land in the Rockville Drive estate immediately to accommodate the survivors of Saturday’s fire which claimed 10 lives.”

“The letter from the council states that the accommodation is only on a temporary basis, until the construction and refurbishment of a permanent site is completed, which is due to take eight months.”

“However residents of the estate this morning blocked the entrance to the plot of land, preventing a JCB from beginning the proposed construction work. A peaceful stand-off ensued with residents refusing to move their vehicles which were obstructing the entrance to [a] green field.”

Residents protest against construction of new ‘temporary’ halting site for survivors of Carrickmines blaze (Irish Independent)

Pic: RTÉ


The Southside Travellers Group released the following statement this evening:


Thanks Ronan Burtenshaw

90396396Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 12.31.56

A Google Earth image (top) and scenes today of the halting site on Glenamuck Road, Carrickmines

RTÉ reports:

At least eight people have died in a fire in Carrickmines in Dublin, according to sources.

Emergency services were called to a halting site on Glenamuck Road at around 4am this morning.

It is understood that most if not all the victims were members of two families.

The Irish Traveller Movement has said among those who died in the fire this morning was a man, his wife and their children, who were all under the age of ten.

LIVE: Latest on fatal Dublin fire

Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie and JM.