Inquest hears halting site fire in Carrickmines caused by chip pan

by Rebecca Ryan

An inquest into the fire that killed ten people at a halting site in Carrickmines has heard that the blaze was caused by a chip pan.

Five adults, five children and an unborn baby lost their lives at the Glenamuck halting site on 10 October 2015.

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

Willie Lynch (25) and his partner Tara Gilbert (27) who was pregnant, and their daughters Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4), and Jimmy Lynch (39), Sylvia and Willie’s brother, also died in the blaze.

The inquest heard that an electrical cooker was found to be the probable source of the fire and that the blaze probably started due to a chip pan being left on a hot plate at full power.

It was also told that the victims were staying in the same housing unit but the fire spread to a second home. Dublin Fire Brigade, 200 witness statements, door to door inquiries and CCTV evidence were all said to be included in a full and comprehensive investigation.

Previously, the Director of Public Prosecutions ruled that no criminal charges will be brought in relation to the deaths of ten fire victims and found there were no grounds to prosecute Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council under health and safety legislation.

The cause of death for all 10 victims of the blaze was acute carbon monoxide poisoning due to smoke inhalation due to a fire. The inquest is expected to continue for up to two weeks.

A spokesperson for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council told Dublin Gazette: “Since the Coroner’s Inquest into the tragic fire in October 2015 at the halting site at Glenamuck Road in Carrickmines is currently underway in the Dublin Coroners Court, it would be inappropriate for the council to make any comment.

“The thoughts of everyone in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and its elected members are with the Connors, Lynch and Gilbert families and their relatives and friends at this sad and very difficult time.”

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