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)