If these Innocent Children, were Murdered, Ireland is really, a Total Fucked up, Country? Familicide, Patricide, Matricide, … Why?

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Death of siblings in Co Westmeath car fire being investigated as murder

Thelma and Michael were killed while their mother Lynn Egar, who is in her 40s, suffered serious injuries in the burning vehicle

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The scene near Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath, where two children died and their mother seriously injured in a car fire

Gardai are now treating the deaths of two children in a car fireball as murder, it has emerged.

Dublin Live has learned the deaths of Thelma Dennany, five, and her two-year-old brother Michael died as a result of suspected foul play. Detectives suspect the family car was deliberately set on fire and that an accelerant such as petrol was likely used.

The grim development came as Garda Commissioner Drew Harris confirmed there was now a criminal investigation into Friday night’s horrific blaze at Lacken near Multyfarnham in Co Westmeath. Speaking to RTE in Galway, he said: “We’re investigating this as suspicious circumstances around these deaths and we’re regarding it now as a criminal investigation.

“In particular, we would ask the public for their support in helping us with this investigation. Anyone who was moving in the Lacken/Multyfarnham area last Friday between about 2pm and 3.30pm, 3.40pm, if they took dashcam footage, if they saw anything suspicious, please report to the gardai.”

Thelma and Michael were killed while their mother Lynn Egar, who is in her 40s, suffered serious injuries in the burning vehicle. She was pulled from the blazing car by a passing lorry driver, who also managed to get the kids out.

Lynn Egar
Lynn Egar

While Michael was pronounced dead at the scene, Thelma was rushed to the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore, Co Offaly, but medical staff were unable to save her. Ms Egar, who lives in the nearby village of Rathowen, was being treated for her injuries in a specialist Dublin hospital last night.

The mum-of-four is now expected to survive and gardai hope to be able to speak to her in the coming days. Meanwhile, a memorial has been set up in memory of the children outside St Cremin’s National School in Multyfarnham.

Framed photographs of the youngsters were placed on a table alongside candles, teddy bears and flowers. Hundreds of people also took part in a vigil in the town on Sunday evening. St Cremin’s principal Karl Dermody said everyone was devastated to learn of the deaths in their community.

He added: “Thelma will be remembered by classmates and teachers as a warm, happy, and vibrant member of St Cremin’s National School. We offer our sincere condolences to friends and family members as they try to come to terms with this tragic loss of life.

Read more: Suspect emerges in Westmeath car fire investigation

  • “As a school, our priority will be to take every step to ensure the needs of our pupils and their families are met at this challenging time. We will provide support to pupils and school staff to help them deal with this tragedy. Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Services have been with us in our school supporting staff and parents.”

Local priest Fr John O’Brien yesterday said the area was filled with grief and despair over the tragedy. He told RTE: “The sense of unreality that we have to face a terrible tragedy. The sense of unreality – did it really happen and, all of a sudden, we realise yes it did.

A memorial at St. Cremin's National School, for Thelma Dennany (5) and her brother Michael (2) who died in a car fire near Multyfarnham, Co. Westmeath
A memorial at St. Cremin’s National School, for Thelma Dennany (5) and her brother Michael (2) who died in a car fire near Multyfarnham, Co. Westmeath (Image: Colin Keegan, Collins Agency, Dublin)

“The two little kids are dead. So, there’s an overwhelming feeling of sadness, disbelief and not being able to find words yet to put on it. The other thing people are doing at the moment is just meeting informally.

“Mothers are talking about it and they’re worried about their kids going to school tomorrow, how they’re going to face the news. It’s going to be hard on the teachers and very hard on the little ones who are going to face this terrible sense of grief and loss. That’s really where the healing begins.”

Taoiseach Micheal Martin also expressed his sadness at the deaths. Speaking at the Fianna Fail party think-in in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, he said: “We’re all deeply conscious of the terrible tragedy at Multyfarnham with the two children [who] passed away in the most tragic of circumstances. To their family, their mother and their classmates, their teachers, we extend our deepest sympathies at this very, very traumatic time for the entire community.

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