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Pontiff in blessing for relative of fire family

By Ed Carty

Published 27/10/2015

William Connors with his mother Margaret at the Vatican
William Connors with his mother Margaret at the Vatican

A young relative of the people who died in the devastating fire at a Traveller site in Dublin has received a personal greeting from Pope Francis.

William Connors, who suffers from a lung disease, was with his mother Margaret O'Leary Connors and thousands of Roma and Traveller people for a special audience with the pontiff in the Vatican.

"He was blessed by the Pope and then he got a selfie," Margaret said. "Afterwards, people started coming up to him and he was given things to hold in his hands."

William (9) was with his cousin Dan (7) and Dan's mother Biddie in the front seats for the audience at the Paul VI Hall in the holy city.

Ms O'Leary Connors works with the Southside Travellers Action Group, and her mother was part of the extended Connors family that was left devastated by the fire in the halting site in Carrickmines more than two weeks ago.

Thomas (27) and Sylvia Connors (25) and their three children, Jim (5), Christy (2) and five-month-old baby Mary died in the blaze. Ms Connors's brother Willie Lynch, his partner Tara Gilbert and their two children Jodie (8)and Kelsey (4) also died, as did Willie's brother Jimmy.

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