Belfast Telegraph

People of Derrylin unite in grief at cross-community memorial for family killed in arson horror

By Staff Reporter

The village of Derrylin fell silent yesterday to remember three generations of the same family killed in an arson attack at their home.

Denise Gosset (45), her daughter Sabrina (19), son Roman (16) and Sabrina's 16-month-old daughter Morgana Quinn died in the blaze at their rented bungalow on Molly Road on February 27.

The family were originally from Doncaster but had previously lived in Tralee, Co Kerry, before moving to Fermanagh around 12 months ago.

Around 100 people from all sections of the community gathered for a multi-denominational service in Derrylin Parish Church, led by Rev Alastair Donaldson and Father Gerard Alwill, parish priest of Knockninny.

They were joined by Denise's daughter Samantha Gossett and Samantha's husband James Dickens, who had travelled over from Birmingham.

Among the congregation was Tommy Fee, who owns the rural property that was gutted by the early morning blaze, and who tried to save the family.

Rev Donaldson told those gathered: "This has been a difficult time for a small village like Derrylin.

"Today many of you have both come to offer comfort and to seek comfort. It's a very human act indeed."

Prayers were offered by Fr Alwill for the family and for neighbours and friends who tried to help the family on the morning of the fire as well as the emergency services who attended the blaze.

Fermanagh-South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew, who was at the scene on the morning after the blaze, attended yesterday's service.

She said: "I saw at first-hand the bewilderment and hurt as people were in absolute shock that this had happened.

"It was lovely to see the churches in Derrylin coming together to hold this service of remembrance."

Ms Gildernew was joined by Ulster Unionist councillor Alex Baird, who added: "What was a very moving ecumenical service has tried to bring some finality and closure to the people of the area. They have been traumatised by what has happened."

A month on from the tragedy locals remain shocked by the recent events and turned out to show their support for the family members left behind.

Brian McManus, chairman of Aughakillymaude Community Association, was in the congregation. He said: "It was vitally important as a community that we come together irrespective of class, colour or creed in sympathy with the family and really to stand by them in this time of terrible need. Only at times like this are communities of some help simply by gathering for this beautiful yet simple service."

Principal of nearby St Aidan's High School Pat McTeggart said people offered their heartfelt sympathy to the Gossett family.

"Any tragedy in the community has a huge effect especially when it involves young people. We have been praying for all the family members at our school assemblies recently.

"It has been a very difficult time for everyone."

Belfast Telegraph

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