Criminal investigation underway into deaths of two children in Westmeath car fire
13th September 2022
A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION is underway into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of two children following a car fire in Co Westmeath on Friday.
Speaking in Galway this afternoon, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said the deaths are being treated as suspicious.
Gardaí confirmed earlier today that they are continuing to investigate “all of the circumstances” surrounding the deaths.
Two-year-old Michael and five-year-old Thelma died in the incident on Friday.
Their mother, Lynn Egar, continues to be treated for serious, but non-life threatening, injuries at a Dublin Hospital.
The car was discovered on a rural road at Lackan shortly after 4pm on Friday in the Multyfarnham area, where gardaí and emergency services attended the scene.
Post-mortem examinations have concluded on the bodies of the deceased by the State Pathologist, but the results of the post-mortem examinations are not being released for operational reasons.
Forensic examinations of the vehicle by the Garda Technical Bureau are also continuing.
Gardaí are continuing to appeal to anyone with any information in relation to the incident to contact them.
In particular, gardaí are appealing for any road users or anyone else who was in the Lacken, Multyfarnham area on Friday between 2pm and 4pm who has any video footage (dashcam or other forms) to make that footage available to the investigation team.
The incident room at Mullingar Garda Station can be contacted at 044 938 4000. People can also contact the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.
A Garda family liaison officer continues to keep the family updated at this time.
The criminal investigation is ongoing and further updates will follow, gardaí have said.
A vigil in Multyfarnham last night was attended by approximately 500 people.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has today extended his “deepest sympathies” to the family and friends of the two young children.
Speaking in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Martin said: “We’re all deeply conscious of the terrible tragedy that happened at nearby Multyfarnham where two young little children, Michael and Thelma, passed away in the most tragic of circumstances.
“To their family, their classmates, their teachers we extend our deepest sympathies at this very, very traumatic time for the entire community.”
The principal of St Cremin’s National School, where Thelma attended, told Morning Ireland that psychologists had been at the school to support pupils and would remain there today.
He described Thelma as “warm, happy and vibrant”.
Father John O’Brien, of the Franciscan friary in the village, told the show that there is “a deep feeling of sadness” in Multyfarnham.
“It’s like a cloud coming down on us, and also there’s that feeling of being dazed, confused. What do we say? How do we come to terms with this? This sense of unreality, we have to face this terrible tragedy,” he said.
“There’s an overwhelming feeling of sadness, disbelief and not being able to find words yet. The thing people are doing at the moment is just meeting informally, mothers are talking about it and they are worried about their kids going to school.”
“From a very quiet place, all of a sudden it was a deeply tragic place. Deeply lonely too,” he concluded.