08 Aug 2022

Offaly man sentenced over fire that killed two women


Offaly man sentenced over fire that killed two women

Offaly man sentenced over fire that killed two women

An Offaly man has been fined €600 and handed a suspended sentence in connection with a fire that killed two female students at a Belgian college in 2014.

RTE are reporting that 22-year-old Shane Bracken, from Clara, was found guilty of causing involuntary death and given a three-month suspended sentence over the blaze at the Leuven Institute, known locally as the Irish College.

The court heard that Mr Bracken accidentally started the fire when he fell asleep holding a lit cigarette in January of 2014. 

The building's owner, Malachy Vallelly, also received a one year suspended jail sentence in connection with the deaths in court today, September 5.

Dace Zarina, 22, from Longford and 19-year-old Sara Gibadlo, from Oranmore, Co. Galway, who were Irish born but of Polish and Latvian parentage, were named as the victims of the fire. They were on exchange from Ireland.

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