Thelma and Mikey
Thelma and Mikey Dennany

Criminal inquiry into deaths of Thelma and Mikey Dennany

Gardaí have launched a criminal investigation into the deaths of two children in a car fire in Co Westmeath last Friday.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has appealed for anyone with information about events leading up to the deaths of Michael Dennany, two, and his older sister Thelma, five, to come forward.

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

State pathologist Sally Ann Collins has completed autopsies on the bodies of the two children. However, gardaí are not releasing the results for operational reasons.

The children’s mother, Lynn Egar, is still being treated in hospital for serious but not life-threatening injuries. The remains of Thelma and Michael have been released to their family for burial.

Local priest, Fr John O’Brien said many local people have been left with an “overwhelming feeling of sadness and disbelief”.

National Educational Psychological Service psychologists were present at Thelma’s school, St Cremin’s, yesterday to support pupils.

Principal Karl Dermody said at a vigil on Sunday night, which was attended by hundreds, that the school community had been devastated by the loss. 

He described Thelma as a warm, happy and vibrant child.

Staff at the Children of Lir Montessori preschool where Thelma attended ECCE said she was “a beautiful, happy and fun-loving little girl who will be sadly missed by us all”. 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has also expressed sympathy to the local community following the loss of the children in “the most tragic of circumstances”.

Funeral arrangements are expected to be announced in the coming days. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Mullingar Garda Station on 044 9384000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1900 666 111, or any Garda station.

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First published in the Irish Examiner

Written by Jessica Thompson