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12.29 20 Sep 2017


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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.”


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