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'I'm disgusted, horrified': Vandals damage memorial to Carrickmines fire victims

A local councillor said family members of the victims have only recently moved into their new accommodation, which is near the site of the tragedy.

Image: Counciillor Paul O'Brien via Twitter

THE VANDALISM OF a memorial to victims of a fire at a halting site in Carrickmines, south Dublin, has been condemned as “appalling” and “disgusting”.

The damage to a statue, which accompanies the plaque dedicated to the victims, was first noticed by local Labour councillor Peter O’Brien.

“I was disgusted and horrified. I genuinely couldn’t believe it,” he told TheJournal.ie. “I hoped at first that it was an accident, but the statue is surrounded by a protective cage. That’s the family statue, it was outside the halting site when the tragedy happened and on the anniversary the council provided the stone.”

The fire, which occurred in October 2015, was found to have started in the kitchen of one unit, where five children were asleep. It spread quickly to a second unit before fire services arrived.

Those killed in the fire were: Willie Lynch, 25, his partner Tara Gilbert, 27, their two children Jodie, 9 and Kelsey, 4, Willie’s brother Jimmy Lynch, 39, Sylvia Connors, Thomas Connors and their three children Jim, Christy, and Mary (who was six months old).

O’Brien said family members of the victims moved into their new accommodation, which is located next to the site of the tragedy, just last week.

Source: Councillor Peter O'Brien via Twitter

“It’s obviously a rough time for them going back, I can’t imagine what they’re going through,” he said. “For someone to do that – a member of my community – it’s horrifying. On a human level I just think it’s appalling.”

O’Brien said Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council has been made aware of the damage caused to the statue and although it is not council property, he said “no doubt they will come up with some sort of solution”.

Read: Fire on Carrickmines halting site started in the kitchen, says report>

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