On behalf of the Fianna Fáil group in the Seanad, I extend my deepest sympathy following the terrible and tragic events that occurred over the weekend and which resulted in the loss of ten people in the fire in Carrickmines which, as the Leader said, has left two children fighting for their lives. We wish them a speedy recovery. It was a desperate and terrible tragedy which involved the largest number of fatalities in a fire since the Stardust disaster. We also remember those families who still seek justice for their relatives who died in that disaster. I am sure the Government and the emergency services will in due course carry out proper investigations into what happened in Carrickmines to ensure this type of incident cannot happen again. I pay tribute to the emergency services, the members of the fire service, the HSE National Ambulance Service and the gardaí who attended the scene and did everything they could to save as many lives as possible.
I pass on my deepest sympathy to the family of the late Garda Tony Golden, his young children, wife and parents, and also to his colleagues on his brutal and disgusting murder in Omeath. It occurred just a couple of short years after the demise of a colleague of his, Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, who was also murdered in the line of duty. Unfortunately, his murderers are still at large. For me, as I am sure for every other colleague, the murder reinforces the crucial job the Garda and emergency services carry out day to day in the service of the State in protecting it against criminals. All we can hope for is that these events will not recur. We must look at how we can protect gardaí further when working in the line of duty. Our main thoughts are with the late Garda Tony Golden's family, friends and colleagues on what is an absolutely awful tragedy for those in County Louth, especially Omeath. My thoughts and prayers and those of my party colleagues are with them and the relatives of the ten people, five of whom were children, who perished in the awful fire in Carrickmines over the weekend.
With that in mind, I do not propose to go through any other business. We will have budget statements and discuss other matters of political discourse in the coming days. I confine my comments to those two very serious items. I wish and hope some solace will be given to the families to whom, on my own behalf and that of my colleagues in Fianna Fáil, I extend our deepest sympathy.