Pavee Point Calls for New Laws for Temporary Emergency Halting Sites

Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre calls for legislation to be amended to ensure that temporary emergency halting sites should meet fire safety and planning regulations.

A Terrible Time

“This has been a terrible time for the Lynch, Gilbert and Connors families who have had to relive the horror of that night in 2015.  We hope that this inquest will bring some closure to the families and enable them to move on with their lives, ” said Martin Collins, Pavee Point Co Director following the verdict of death by misadventure given  by the Dublin Coroner’s Court inquest into the Carrickmines fire tragedy that occurred in 2015.

“Every support should be made available to support these bereaved family members,” said Mr. Collins “And we empathise with them at this time.”

Change the Law

“We are also calling on the Government  to amend legislation to ensure that temporary emergency halting sites should meet fire safety and planning regulations so a tragedy like this never occurs again,” said Mr. Collins.

“This was an emergency temporary site that had been there since 2008.  These families should not have been left in these conditions for 7 years.  The site was exempt from planning and fire regulations because of its ‘emergency’ status,” said Mr. Collins.

Didn’t meet regulations

“We heard during the inquest that the portocabins did not meet building regulations and that the close proximity of the portocabins “virtually assured” that the fire would spread.

Under Department of the Environment guidelines for temporary halting sites, housing units are supposed to have at least six metres between them and families are supposed to only stay for up to five years.

“There are currently temporary emergency sites in existence that have been there for 30 years. And each year money for Traveller accommodation is returned to central government by local authorities – unspent.”

The Carrickmines fire claimed the lives of Thomas Connors (28), his wife Sylvia (30), and their children Jim (5), Christy (3) and five-month-old Mary.

Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27), who was pregnant, and her daughters Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4). Jimmy Lynch (39), a brother of Willie, also lost their lives in the fire.

Permanent Site Built 2016

In late 2016 Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council established a permanent halting site on land adjacent to the original Glenamuck Halting Site.

This halting site, named Tir na Chroi, is permanent and all fire and safety regulations apply.