Homeless pregnant mum who lost 10 relatives in Carrickmines fire pleads for accommodation

Sarah Jane Lynch (25) says she was moved from caravan and promised a home... SIX years ago
Sarah Jane Lynch had been spending her nights on the streets without her children

Sarah Jane Lynch had been spending her nights on the streets without her children

Alan Sherry

A pregnant mother who lost 10 members of her family in the Carrickmines fire said she's living on the streets and is pleading with the council to be given a home.

Sarah Jane Lynch (25), from Bray, Co. Wicklow, lost her aunts, cousins and other relatives in the horrific fire which claimed the lives of 10 people at halting site in Carrickmines in Dublin in October 2015.

Sarah Jane told the Sunday World that at the time of the fire she was living in a caravan in the garden of her parents John and Kathleen Lynch's home at Sally's Rest in Blind Lane, Bray, but was asked to move out over safety fears and was told she would be rehomed.

"My life is still the same. We're still on the streets. The council told me to get rid of my caravan after my family died and said they would house me. Six years later I'm the same way," she said.

Sarah Jane after she was robbed

Sarah Jane after she was robbed

She said her brother, who was also living in a caravan outside her parents' house, was given a home but she remains homeless.

"I found out at New Years that I'm two months pregnant. I just can't stick it anymore. I can't live like this anymore. It's just ridiculous."

Sarah Jane said her young daughter and son are living in her parents' home in Bray and while she visits them every day, she sleeps rough at night with her partner Patrick.

"My kids want to be with their mother and father and have a normal life. At the moment it's like I'm a part-time mother. I want to be with my kids."

She had been offered hostel-type accommodation over the years but won't return.

She said she was sexually assaulted by a man in one hostel and falsely accused of selling drugs in another facility so has been living on the streets for the past 10 months. She added that she was recently attacked and robbed while sleeping rough.

"I got a new tent the other day. Hundreds of pounds for a tent. Blankets and all that and only a few days ago it got robbed. This is what I'm going through day in, day out.

"A few weeks ago, I got attacked. I woke up being held down and a young one was searching my top and my trousers. My face was left in a terrible condition.

"I had €30 on me and she took that. I was roaring because I didn't know what to do. I thought if I went to the police I'd be killed. I told them I'm afraid to make a statement."

"I stay on the street roaring my head off crying every night because I have no life.

Sarah Jane Lynch

Sarah Jane Lynch

She said the deaths of her relatives in 2015 had a devastating impact on her

"I lost a lot of my family back in 2015 in Carrickmines halting site. I lost 10 members of my family in that.

"My auntie and her husband lived up there and the rest of the family went up for the night and never came home. They were my aunties and uncles and cousins. I was born and reared with them. We were very close. It was more like brother and sister than anything," she said.

The fire claimed the lives of Sarah Jane's aunt Sylvia (27), uncle Thomas Connors (25), their children Jimmy (5), Christy (2) and Mary (five months), her uncle Willy (25) and his pregnant finance Tara Gilbert (27), their daughters Jodie (9) and Kelsey (4) and her uncle Jimmy (39).

"My life went upside down after my family died."

Fire damage at scene in Carrickmines

Fire damage at scene in Carrickmines

She said in the immediate aftermath of the Carrickmines tragedy she struggled with addiction but got clean.

"I'm fresh now but I'm still on the streets." She pleaded with Wicklow County Council for accommodation for her and family.

"My kids stay with my mother and father because of this other situation. If I got a home my kids will be back with me and I can have a normal life but because I have no home, I can't have a normal life.

"Kids are asking me every day when we're going to be together again. My heart is broken in bits over it. I see them every day but have to walk away at the end of the day because I can't stay here."

A spokesman for Wicklow County Council said that they did not comment on individual cases.

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