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Carrickmines fire: Travellers say Enda Kenny's comments at funeral 'disgraceful'

Published 29/10/2015

A member of the travelling community at a candlelit vigil outside a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire at the weekend. PA
A member of the travelling community at a candlelit vigil outside a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire at the weekend. PA
Members of the travelling community at a candlelit vigil outside a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire at the weekend. PA
Member of the travelling community Elizabeth Wall, six, at a candlelit vigil outside a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire at the weekend. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 23, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Halting Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Members of the travelling community at a candlelit vigil outside a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire at the weekend. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 23, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Halting Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Members of the travelling community at a candlelit vigil outside a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire at the weekend. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 23, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Halting Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Member of the travelling community Elizabeth Wall, six, at a candlelit vigil outside a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire at the weekend. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 23, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Halting Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Undated handout picture issued by Hertfordshire Police of Sinead Hare, a mother-of-one, was fatally injured in what police believe was a single-car crash in St Albans, and whose body was found by her husband after he went looking for his wife when she failed to return home for the evening. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday October 14, 2015. See PA story POLICE Husband. Photo credit should read: Hertfordshire Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Relatives of the deceased, Francis McDonald, with his daughter Margaret Donohue and her son Josh at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Local parishioners are to fund raise for the victims of a blaze which claimed 10 lives in Ireland, a Catholic priest has said. See PA story IRISH Halting. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Flowers are left at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Local parishioners are to fund raise for the victims of a blaze which claimed 10 lives in Ireland, a Catholic priest has said. See PA story IRISH Halting. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Toys and flowers are left at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Local parishioners are to fund raise for the victims of a blaze which claimed 10 lives in Ireland, a Catholic priest has said. See PA story IRISH Halting. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A local priest leads a prayer at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Local parishioners are to fund raise for the victims of a blaze which claimed 10 lives in Ireland, a Catholic priest has said. See PA story IRISH Halting. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Local parishioners are to fund raise for the victims of a blaze which claimed 10 lives in Ireland, a Catholic priest has said. See PA story IRISH Halting. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Local parishioners are to fund raise for the victims of a blaze which claimed 10 lives in Ireland, a Catholic priest has said. See PA story IRISH Halting. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Local parishioners are to fund raise for the victims of a blaze which claimed 10 lives in Ireland, a Catholic priest has said. See PA story IRISH Halting. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaks to locals at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Local parishioners are to fund raise for the victims of a blaze which claimed 10 lives in Ireland, a Catholic priest has said. See PA story IRISH Halting. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A forensics officer walks past toys and flowers left at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
People gather as toys and flowers are left at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
People gather as toys and flowers are left at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Chief fire officer Pat Fleming (left) and assistant chief fire officer Dennis Keeley at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Assistant chief fire officer Dennis Keeley at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Toys and flowers are left at a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A woman leaves flowers outside a halting site for travellers in Carrickmines, south Dublin, where ten people from two families, including a mother, father and a five-month-old baby, were killed in a fire yesterday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Members of the Travelling community have claimed that comments made by Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a funeral of five victims of the Carrickmines fire amounted to "state discrimination".

Lorraine McMahon, of Ballyfermot Travellers Action Group, also said the remarks by the Taoiseach and other elected representatives on why businesses had closed on the day were "disgraceful".

Mr Kenny had appeared to say that he understood why businesses, including pubs, in Wexford closed on the day that Tom and Sylvia Connors and their three children were laid to rest last week.

"When we have Enda Kenny, standing in Wexford at a funeral on Friday, when five members of the Connors family were being buried, and talking about how he understood why businesses were closed down, that is absolutely disgraceful," Ms McMahon said.

"The vast majority of Travellers are out there like any of us, living their day-to-day lives, and they are forced to live in horrific conditions.

"When Enda Kenny was at Garda Golden's funeral, he didn't talk about the bad eggs in the force. There would have been public uproar."

Speaking to journalists about the closures on the day of the funeral, Mr Kenny said there had been "incidents on some occasions where things have got out of hand".

He added: "This is a great tragedy and from speaking to the Travelling people there, they are going their way once the burials have taken place in the graveyard."

Meanwhile, Republic's Public Expenditure Minister and Wexford TD Brendan Howlin said he "understood" why some pubs closed, adding: "I think maybe the unavailability of alcohol is not a bad thing."

Mourners in Wexford had refreshments in a local community centre after the burial, after no hotel or commercial establishment was willing or able to accommodate them.

Mourners at the funeral of the Connors family, Thomas, 27, and his wife Sylvia, 25, with three of their children, Jim, five, Christy, at the Church of the Ascension of the Lord in Balally, Co Dublin, who died in the fire at Carrickmines, south Dublin. PA
Mourners at the funeral of the Connors family, Thomas, 27, and his wife Sylvia, 25, with three of their children, Jim, five, Christy, at the Church of the Ascension of the Lord in Balally, Co Dublin, who died in the fire at Carrickmines, south Dublin. PA
The coffins of the Connors family, Thomas, 27, and his wife Sylvia, 25, with three of their children, Jim, five, Christy, leave the Church of the Ascension of the Lord in Balally, Co Dublin, who died in the fire at Carrickmines, south Dublin, following their funeral. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 22, 2015. Photo credit should read: Philip Fitzpatrick/PA Wire
Sinn Fein Gerry Adams at the funeral of the Connors family, Thomas, 27, and his wife Sylvia, 25, with three of their children, Jim, five, Christy, at the Church of the Ascension of the Lord in Balally, Co Dublin, who died in the fire at Carrickmines, south Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 22, 2015. Photo credit should read: Philip Fitzpatrick/PA Wire
The funeral cortege carrying the coffins of the Connors family, Thomas, 27, and his wife Sylvia, 25, with three of their children, Jim, five, Christy, two and five month old baby Mary, arrive at the Church of the Ascension of the Lord in Balally, Co Dublin, who died in the fire at Carrickmines, south Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 22, 2015. Photo credit should read: Philip Fitzpatrick/PA Wire
The coffins of the Connors family, Thomas, 27, and his wife Sylvia, 25, with three of their children, Jim, five, Christy, leave the Church of the Ascension of the Lord in Balally, Co Dublin, who died in the fire at Carrickmines, south Dublin, following their funeral. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 22, 2015. Photo credit should read: Philip Fitzpatrick/PA Wire
Jojo Connors, mother of Thomas Connors is helped after the funeral of the Connors family, Thomas, 27, and his wife Sylvia, 25, with three of their children, Jim, five, Christy, at the Church of the Ascension of the Lord in Balally, Co Dublin, who died in the fire at Carrickmines, south Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 22, 2015. Photo credit should read: Philip Fitzpatrick/PA Wire
Teachers from the school of Jodie White, aged 9 line the street in mourning at the funeral of a young family killed in a fire being held at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
Teachers from St. Peter's primary school in Bray, where Jodie Lynch attended, await the funeral cortege's departure from the Church of the Holy Redeemer in Bray, Co. Wicklow, following the funeral mass of Jimmy Lynch and of Willie Lynch and Tara Gilbert, and their children Jodie and Kelsey, who died in the Carrickmines blaze. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story IRISH Carrickmines. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams leaves the Church of the Holy Redeemer in Bray, Co. Wicklow, following the funeral mass of Jimmy Lynch and of Willie Lynch and Tara Gilbert, and their children Jodie and Kelsey, who died in the Carrickmines blaze. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story IRISH Carrickmines. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The funeral cortege of Jimmy Lynch and of Willie Lynch and Tara Gilbert, and their children Jodie and Kelsey, who died in the Carrickmines blaze makes it's way to Springfield cemetary, Bray, Co. Wicklow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story IRISH Carrickmines. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Mourners at the Church of the Holy Redeemer in Bray, Co. Wicklow, for the funeral mass of Jimmy Lynch and of Willie Lynch and Tara Gilbert, and their children Jodie and Kelsey, who died in the Carrickmines blaze. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story IRISH Carrickmines. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: Teachers from the school of Jodie White, aged 9 line the street in mourning at the funeral of a young family killed in a fire being held at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: 5 hearses carry the bodies of a young family killed in a fire from their funeral at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
Tanaiste Joan Burton arrives for the funeral mass of Jimmy Lynch and of Willie Lynch and Tara Gilbert, and their children Jodie and Kelsey, who died in the Carrickmines blaze. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story IRISH Carrickmines. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: Mourners attend the funeral of a young family killed in a fire being held at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: Teachers from the school of Jodie White, aged 9 line the street in mourning at the funeral of a young family killed in a fire being held at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: 5 hearses carry the bodies of a young family killed in a fire from their funeral at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: Mourners attend the funeral of a young family killed in a fire being held at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: 5 hearses carry the bodies of a young family killed in a fire from their funeral at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: Builders line the street outside the funeral of a young family killed in a fire being held at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: Mourners attend the funeral of a young family killed in a fire being held at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: Hearses containing the coffins of a young family killed in a fire arrive for the funeral being held at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: Hearses containing the coffins of a young family killed in a fire arrive for the funeral being held at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: Mourners attend the funeral of a young family killed in a fire being held at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: 5 hearses of a young family killed in a fire arrive for their funeral at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: Coffins of a young family killed in a fire arrive for the funeral at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
BRAY, IRELAND - OCTOBER 20: Hearses containing the coffins of a young family killed in a fire arrive for the funeral being held at the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer on October 20, 2015 in Bray, Ireland. It is the first of the funerals for 10 people who lost their lives at a traveller halting site in Carrickmines on October 10. The 5 being buried today are Willie Lynch (25), his partner Tara Gilbert (27) and their children Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and Willie's brother, Jimmy Lynch (39). (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
The coffins arrive at the Church of the Holy Redeemer in Bray, Co. Wicklow, for the funeral mass of Jimmy Lynch and of Willie Lynch and Tara Gilbert, and their children Jodie and Kelsey, who died in the Carrickmines blaze. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story IRISH Carrickmines. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Neither the Department of the Taoiseach nor the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform wished to respond when contacted by the Irish Independent yesterday.

Ms McMahon was attending a protest outside Leinster House demanding action on Traveller accommodation and perceived discrimination. Organised by all-Ireland Traveller forum Mincéirs Whiden, it was attended by Travellers from around the country, including Mayo, Tipperary, Galway and Offaly.

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