Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Omagh awaits funeral details for family who died in house fire

There are still no details of when the funerals of the family of seven who were killed in a house fire in Omagh, a week ago today, will take place, it has emerged.

Last night the bodies of Arthur McElhill (39), his partner Lorraine McGovern (30), and their children Caroline (13), Sean (7), Bellina (4), 18-month-old Clodagh and ten-month-old baby James, were formally identified following post mortem examinations which took place at the weekend.

It was confirmed that all the deceased were killed by smoke inhalation.

It is still unclear whether or not the family will be buried together.

Mr McElhill came from Ederney, Co Fermanagh while Ms McGovern was from the parish of Corlough in Co Cavan.

The dead woman's cousin Fr Tom McManus refused to comment on the situation today.

Omagh independent councillor and former firefighter Paddy McGowan said that people would want to pay their last respects to the family.

"There is still no word yet of funerals," he said.

"People are still waiting to hear as there are a lot of people in Omagh who want to pay their last respects."

His colleague, UUP chairman of Omagh council Bert Wilson, has called for the ruined house to be demolished and turned into a memorial garden.

Meanwhile, the Western Health and Social Care Trust has categorically denied placing a child with the McElhill family after media reports that a teenage girl was removed from their care by police.

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