Taoiseach requests flags to fly at half mast for Dublin fire victims

Five children and five adults die in halting site blaze

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he has requested the flags at Government Buildings to fly at half mast on the days of the funerals of the ten people who died in a fire at a halting site in Carrickmines as a sign of respect for the bereaved families.

Mr Kenny said it was an unspeakable tragedy and the State wanted to offer its sincerest sympathies.

He said he had spoken to the Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly about seeking a full report on the tragedy.

UEFA will host a minute's silence ahead of tonight's European Championship qualifying game between Poland and the Republic of Ireland in Stadion Narodowy for the victims of the fire and to those who died in the bomb attacks in Ankara.


The Football Association of Ireland said it would like to extend sympathies to the families and friends of the victims in both tragedies.

Books of condolence are open in Dublin on Sunday in memory of the ten people who died.

The books are in Leopardstown Shopping Centre, the Market Belarmine, the customer services desk at Dundrum Town Centre and the Centra shop in Stepaside.

A book of condolence will be opened at the Mansion House, Dawson Street tomorrow Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th of October.

Ten people from two families died in the early morning blaze at the Glenamuck Road halting site near the M50 motorway. Five of the dead are children under 10, including a six-month old baby.

The dead include one couple and their three children, another couple and their two children and one other person related to one of the families. Although the names have not been officially released one of the families was named locally as Tara Gilbert, her partner Willie Lynch and their daughters Kelsie and Jody. It is believed Ms Gilbert was pregnant. The other family was Thomas and Sylvia Connors and three of their children, one of whom was six months old.Thomas's parents, Jim and Jo Connors, were treated in hospital on Saturday and later released.

The halting site at Glenamuck Road, Carrickmines, is now subject to examination by the Garda technical bureau, and the Assistant State Pathologist remains on the scene. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Emergency services were called to the blaze at about 4.30am on Saturday. Fire fighters from Dun Laoghaire, Nutgrove and Donnybrook battled the blaze and a number of ambulances attended the scene of the fire.

Speaking at the scene of the fire on Saturday, Denis Keeley, assistant chief fire officer with Dublin Fire Brigade, said they received a call at 4.24am . "DFB responded with three fire tenders and a senior fire officer to the scene, and at 4.34am on arrival were met with quite a substantial and well-established fire scene." He said two adults and two children were taken to hospital from the scene. One of the children later died.

The fire hit two housing units in the well established halting site. It contained a mix of permanent structures and caravans situated closely together. It is believed that the site usually accommodates around 20 occupants.

According to neighbours, there had been another relatively large fire in the environs of the halting site at around 9.30pm yesterday evening, and it is not known if this was in any way related to the fatal incident.

"I know there was a fire up there at 9.30. We didn't hear anything at 4 or 4.30 this morning until about 8.30 this morning when my sister said there's been a fire and some people have died," said Suzanne Fitzpatrick, who described those involved as a "friendly bunch who kept to themselves".

“They were nice people I’d have to say, good people. They’d say hello when they saw you, they didn’t interfere with us. We’re very sad, devastated. We can’t get over what happened,” she said.

President Michael D Higgins said he was "shocked and saddened" by the fire, adding: "This is a most dreadful tragedy. My thoughts at this time are with the families and friends of those who have lost their lives and those who have been injured. Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has asked that all those who have died and those injured and their families be remembered in prayer at all Masses in the Archdiocese this weekend.

The extended families of the ten people who died in the fire were “devastated “ and “angry”, a cousin said.

Margaret O'Leary, who also works for Southside Traveller Action Group (Stag), said she had received a call at 7am telling her the fire had claimed the lives of five children and five adults, from two families.

“As a mother I am devastated,” said Ms O’Leary. “These were my mother’s first cousins. Some of us were out last night at a fashion show in Dundrum Town Centre, for social inclusion week, and it had given us all such a boost. We had gone to bed so optimistic, feeling good, and then to wake up to this, it’s unbelievable.”

She was speaking at the premises of Stag, where extended families and some who had also been on the site at the time of fire, were gathered on Saturday night. She said other family members would be travelling from across Ireland and from England "for the wakes and the funerals".

“They were just beautiful, lovely families. The site up there, they had it spotless, really nice, flowers and everything. But they were living in portacabins up there. If they were living in bricks and mortar I’m sure some of them could have been saved. The families here are devastated and angry too. I’m angry.”

Local TD, and former minister for justice Alan Shatter, was among those who visited the Stag premises.

“There is very little you can say to ease the pain of a situation when ten lives have been lost. I just came today to offer what support I can. I am sure Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown council will do everything they can to help the families.”