Detectives launch triple murder investigation into 1987 fire in Kildare

Gardaí say they have received new evidence

Detectives launch triple murder investigation into 1987 fire in Kildare

Composite image shows (left) Barbara Doyle (right) Mary Ellen Byrne (L) and Kerrie Byrne (R) with their mother Elizabeth Byrne

Updated 12.35pm

Gardaí have made a major breakthrough in three cold case deaths in Co Kildare.

20-year-old Barbara Doyle and her two young nieces Mary Ellen and Kerrie Byrne died in a fire in Kilcock on this day in 1987.

Barbara had been babysitting while the two girls' parents - Aidan (now deceased) and Elizabeth - went to a 21st party in the area.

The fire was reported between 3.00am and 4.00am on September 20th.

Image: An Garda Síochána

Detectives say they are now treating the deaths as a triple murder investigation.

Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche says the development comes after ‘new evidence’ came to light quite recently.

He said: "We now believe that the fire was started deliberately.

"The investigation has now been upgraded to a murder investigation. We are satisfied that there are people who will remember this fire [...] and who have not yet spoken to the gardaí".

Image: An Garda Síochána

He added: "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. I would further appeal that the privacy of the Byrne and Doyle families is respected at this time.”