A book of condolence has been opened at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick and Saint Felim in Cavan Town in memory of the ten lives lost in a fire at a Traveller halting site in Carrickmines, Co Dublin last weekend.
The dead include pregnant mother and five children, and the Book of Condolence will remain open at the Cavan Town Cathedral for the rest of the week, while members of the local traveller community will also host a vigil in memory of those who lost their lives later today, Wednesday, at 4pm.
Chairman of the Cavan Traveller Movement Thomas Maughan told The Anglo-Celt: “Its hard to find words to describe the devastation felt right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who died.”
The fire on Glenamuck Road, in Carrickmines, was the largest in loss of life by fire in Ireland since 48 lives were claimed at the Stardust nightclub fire in 1981. All the victims were from the Lynch and Connors families.
Among the victims were Willie Lynch and Tara Gilbert, both in their 20s, and their children Jodie (8) and Kelsey (4). Tara had only recently announced she was expecting a third child. Thomas and Sylvia Connors also died alongside their children Jim, Christy and Mary. The final victim was named as Jimmy Lynch, aged in his late 30s. He was a brother of Willie and Sylvia.
The fire is understood to have spread through two prefabricated units. Although the cause has still not yet been established, campaigners have reiterated warnings that Traveller families face fire-safety risks due to overcrowding and poor maintenance on such sites.
The announcement that a full review of fire safety standards at all halting sites across Ireland has been ordered in the wake of the tragedy has been welcomed by CTM Community Development Worker Bernard Joyce. But he said the “why's and the how's” of what occurred can only be dealt with after full support is given to the families affected by the blaze.
A bank account has been established by the local branch of St Vincent de Paul to assist the families affected by the fire.
The account in the Dundrum branch of AIB is: SVP Carrickmines Tragedy, BIC: AIBKIE2D, IBAN: IE38AIBK93312016005289.