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A candlelit ceremony was held at the site of the tragedy last week.
A candlelit ceremony was held at the site of the tragedy last week.
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Priest criticises lack of empathy from settled community over Carrickmines deaths

Fr Dermot Lane was speaking at the removal service for Thomas and Sylvia Connors and three of their children.
Oct 22nd 2015, 8:10 AM 13,318 100

LARGE CROWDS ARE expected to attend the second funeral service for the victims of the Carrickmines tragedy later this morning in Balally, south Dublin.

Thomas and Sylvia Connors, their children Jim (5), Christy (2) and baby Mary (5 months) were killed in the halting site tragedy in the early hours of Saturday 10 October.

The service comes just a day after four-year-old Tom Connors, son of Thomas and Sylvia, was released from hospital.

Tom’s brother Michael (5) was unharmed as he was not sleeping in the same prefab. The children will now be cared for by their grandparents.

At a removal service in the Church of the Ascension of the Lord yesterday evening, parish priest of Balally Fr Dermot Lane said “darkness descended on Glenamuck Road” when the fire “wiped out 10 lives”.

That darkness has remained with the families over the last 11 days.”

Lack of empathy

Referring to the dispute over accommodation for survivors of the tragedy, the priest said there had been a lack of empathy from the settled community in the days since the fire.

“There are important lessons to be learned from this national tragedy.

We must learn, above all, to walk in the shoes of the other if we are to develop genuinely inclusive and pluralistic societies.

“Many of us in the settled community have failed to walk with empathy in the shoes of our brothers and sisters in the Traveller Community.

“It is unhelpful to engage in the blame-game concerning this national tragedy. Instead, we must move beyond misunderstanding, beyond the standard stereotypes and caricatures.

If we are to move forward, all must be involved in a new consultation and a new conversation, and that means bringing together local authorities, local communities and the Traveller communities.”

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National tragedy

Fr Lane, who would have been unaware of the arrangements made to house the survivors as the ceremony coincided with an announcement from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council, said accommodation should be found as a matter of urgency “so that they can begin to rebuild their broken and bruised lives”.

In conclusion then, we pray that this national tragedy may become a turning point in the difficult tasks of healing, reconciliation and mutual trust that lie ahead.”

Bishop Ray Field will represent Archbishop Diarmuid Martin at this morning’s requiem mass at 11.30am. The mass will be celebrated by Derek Farrell of the Parish of the Travelling People.

The remains will be taken to Wexford after the service, with prayers to take place at the Church of the Assumption on Bride Street in Wexford tomorrow at midday followed by burial at Crosstown Cemetery.

Read: Accommodation for Carrickmines survivors found – but NOT in Rockville Drive >

Read: A final farewell: As the bells tolled, five coffins were taken from the hearses >

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Daragh Brophy

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