Verdicts of misadventure at Carrickmines fire inquest

by Rebecca Ryan

The jury at the inquest into the deaths of ten people in a fire at a halting site in Carrickmines have returned verdicts of death by misadventure.

Five adults, five children and an unborn baby died from smoke inhalation following a fire at the home of the Connors family at the Glenamuck halting site in October 2015.

During the inquest, a chip pan left on a cooker was found to be the cause of the fire.

The jury returned verdicts on Tuesday afternoon of death by misadventure for all ten victims.

In her charge to the jury, Dr Myra Cullinane had told them they could return a verdict of accidental death or misadventure in relation to nine of the victims.

In the case of misadventure, she described it as an “accident with a risk”.

She also referred to evidence from the State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster. All of the adults had been drinking on the night of the fire and Dr Bolster had said that this would have “certainly delayed reaction times”.

On Tuesday the jury also made a number of recommendations including that new guidelines relating to fire safety for Traveller accommodation to be implemented as best practice.

There was applause in the court room when it was announced that the jury recommended a national bravery award to the teenager John Keith Connors who rescued a four-year-boy.

In a statement, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said:

“The fire was a profoundly tragic event, which has devastated the families and the Traveller Community locally and nationally.

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

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