Belfast Telegraph

1987 fire in which woman and two children died now being treated as murder

A house fire 30 years ago which claimed the lives of a young woman and her two nieces was a triple murder, cold-case detectives have revealed.

Barbara Doyle, 20, died alongside eight-year-old Mary Ellen Byrne and three-year-old Kerrie Byrne at the children's house in Church Lane, Kilcock, Co Kildare on September 20 1987.

The youngsters' parents, Aidan Byrne, who is now dead, and his wife Elizabeth, had gone out to a 21st birthday party on the Saturday night when the fire was started.

Gardai said the blaze in the home was reported between 3am and 4am on the Sunday morning.

Ms Doyle was a niece of Mrs Byrne's.

Gardai said the investigation into the fire has remained open for the last 30 years.

Detectives said new evidence has been discovered and they believe the fire was started deliberately.

An incident room has been set up at Leixlip Garda station and cold-case detectives from the serious crime review team are assisting local officers.

Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche appealed for anyone who recalls the fire and the deaths of three people to come forward.

"We are satisfied there are people who will remember this fire and the deaths of Barbara, Mary Ellen, and Kerrie, and who have not yet spoken to gardai," he said.

"We are appealing to any person who has any information to contact Leixlip Garda station at 01-6667800 or the Garda confidential line 1800 666 111."

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