CO KILDARE, Ireland - On the 32nd anniversary of a fire that destroyed a home on Kilcock, Co Kildare, and killed 3 girls aged 3, 8 and 20, Gardai are firming on the view that the fire was deliberately lit.
New evidence which emerged two years saw the decades-long investigation into the fire upgraded to a murder investigation.
The horrific fire occurred on 20 September 1987. Aidan and Elizabeth Byrne, who lived at the home with their two daughters Mary Ellen Byrne, 8, and Kerrie Anne Byrne, 3, were having a night out at a 21st birthday party in the neighbourhood. Elizabeth's sister Barbara Doyle stayed over to babysit her two nieces.
Between 3:00am and 4:00am that Sunday morning a fire was reported at the house. When the fire was extinguished firefighters found the remains of the Byrnes' two daughters and Barbara Doyle.
"Two years ago on the 30th anniversary of the fire, new evidence came into our possession and garda now believe the fire was started deliberately," Gardai said in a statement released on Friday. "The investigation was upgraded to a murder investigation and an incident room has been established at Leixlip Garda Station."
"Garda firmly believe that there are persons in the community who have information in relation to this fire."
"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," the statement said.
"Garda would further appeal that the privacy of the Byrne and Doyle families is respected at this time."