DPP directs no prosecution over Carrickmines fire that killed 10

Full inquest into the deaths expected to begin before a jury in January for two weeks

The scene at the site of the fire that claimed 10 lives in Carrickmines in 2015. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The scene at the site of the fire that claimed 10 lives in Carrickmines in 2015. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

No criminal charges will be brought in relation to the deaths of 10 victims of a fire at a halting site in Carrickmines, Co Dublin, the Dublin Coroner’s Court has been told.

Five adults and five children died following the fire in the early hours of October 10th, 2015. The 10 victims of the blaze died due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) made her decision following the submission of a case file on the tragic blaze by An Garda Síochána.

There were no family members of the victims present at Dublin Coroner’s Court as Detective Inspector Martin Creighton informed the coroner of the DPP’s decision. The full inquest into the deaths will be heard before a jury over a two-week period early next year.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane issued provisional dates for the inquest hearing to take place in January. The coroner’s office will now work with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCC), gardaí and Dublin Fire Brigade to draw up a list of witnesses to give evidence.

The victims were residents of Glenamuck Halting site in Carrickmines, Dublin 24.

They were: Thomas Connors (27) his wife Sylvia (30) and their children Jim (five), Christy (three) and six-month-old Mary; Willie Lynch (25) and his partner Tara Gilbert (27), who was pregnant, and their daughters Jodie (nine) and Kelsey (four) also died. Jimmy Lynch (39), a brother of Willy, also died in the blaze.

The five adults and four of the children were identified using DNA evidence with the assistance of Dr Alan Magee. Baby Mary Connors was formally identified by her relative, Dan Connors, at the children’s accident and emergency department at Tallaght Hospital in Dublin.

The 10 post-mortem examinations were carried out by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy and Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster. The cause of death returned for all 10 victims of the blaze was acute carbon monoxide poisoning due to smoke inhalation due to a fire.

A legal representative for DLRCC was present at the short inquest hearing.

The DPP’s office had issued a number of queries to gardaí based on the file submitted and consideration of the issue continued for a number of months.

DI Creighton told the court the DPP’s decision had been received and circulated to all parties.

“I am now in a position to hear the inquest which will take place over a number of days before a jury,” Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said.

The coroner adjourned the inquest and issued a provisional start date for the full inquest to begin on January 14th, 2019.

It is understood the family has chosen not to comment on the news that there will be no prosecution over the Carrickmines fire.

Asked to comment on the DPP’s decision a spokeswoman for DLRCC said “it would not be appropriate for the Council to make any further comment before the formal inquest”.

In April of this year Josie Connors, who lost ten loved ones in the Carrickmines disaster, confirmed she was taking legal action against DLR CC on behalf of her grandchildren who lost their parents in the blaze.

Questions had previously been raised by the family as to how closely the council had placed the mobile homes to each other. The original fire spread from one mobile home to another, about a metre away.

According to the Guidelines for Residential Caravan Parks for Travellers published by the Department of Housing “generally there should be a minimum separation distance of six metres between caravans and nine metres between a caravan and a building or other structure”.