Northern Ireland news

Inquest hears chip pan started blaze which killed 10 at south Dublin halting site

An aerial view of the devastated halting site in south Dublin
Staff Reporter

A fire which killed 10 people - including five children and a pregnant mother - at a halting site in south Dublin was caused by a chip pan left on a hot plate, an inquest has heard.

Dublin Coroner's Court was told that the probable source of the blaze in 2015 was an electric cooker in a mobile home at the Glenamuck site in Carrickmines.

Garda Detective Inspector Martin Creighton said a chip pan had been left on a hot plate on the cooker.

A fire broke out in one mobile home before quickly spreading to another, killing five adults and five children in the early hours of October 10.

The detective gave an overview of the extensive investigation, which involved Dublin Fire Brigade, 200 witness statements, door-to-door inquiries and CCTV evidence.

Thomas Connors (28), his wife Sylvia (30) and their children Jim (5), Christy (3) and five-month-old Mary all died.

Also killed were Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27), who was pregnant, and her daughters Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) as well as Jimmy Lynch (39), a brother of Willie.

The Lynch family had been visiting the Connors at the time of the tragedy.

The victims all died from acute carbon monoxide poisoning due to smoke inhalation and had to be identified using DNA evidence.

The inquest heard that the site was not subject to any planning or accommodation guidelines due to its temporary nature.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council had originally intended to move the Connors from a site in Sandyford to Rathmichael. But the inquest heard there was opposition from a family living at the site and the council established the temporary facility.

The council's former director of housing Tom McHugh said the intention was never for this site to become a permanent solution as there were plans to widen the road at this location.

The inquest continues.

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