A mother has been accused of murdering her children, Mikey and Thelma Dennany, in a car fire in Westmeathshire.
Thelma (5) and her brother Mikey (2) were fatally injured when their vehicle caught fire at around 4pm on September 9th.
Their mother, Lynn Egar (48), appeared before Judge Bernadette Owens in a late special sitting of Mullingar District Court on Thursday night.
She did not address the case and, following a five-minute hearing, she was remanded in custody to appear again at Athlone District Court via video link on September 28.
A passerby came across their car engulfed in flames in Lackan, a hamlet on a country road connecting the villages of Multyfarnham and Coole.
The mother of four and her child Mikey were pulled out, and emergency services later found Thelma’s remains inside the car.
Mikey was rushed by ambulance to Mullingar Midlands Regional Hospital, but was pronounced dead there.
Their mother also suffered injuries but was taken to hospital in Dublin, where she remained for over a week and a half.
Detectives from Mullingar Garda station began an investigation and arrested her on Wednesday.
The child’s mother was detained under section four of the Criminal Justice Act, which allows Gardaí to detain a person for questioning for 24 hours, after which they must be released or charged.
Ms Egar lived at the family home in Winetown, Rathowen, Co Westmeath.
Lynn Egar (wearing a purple hoodie) arrives for a special hearing at Mullingar District Court, Co Westmeath, where she was accused of murdering her two children. Photo: AU
Detective Sergeant David Donnelly told Judge Owens that he charged her with two counts of murder at 7.22pm. “In response to a charge after a warning he made no reply,” she said, adding that she had been given a correct copy of the charge sheets.
She is accused of the murders of Thelma and Michael Dennany in Lackan, Multyfarnham, September 9th, contrary to the law of the land.
The district court does not have the jurisdiction to consider bail in murder cases, and only the High Court can consider them.
Gardaí applied for a remand in custody to appear at Athlone District Court via video link next Wednesday.
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Ms Egar, dressed in a purple zip-up hooded top, black trousers and navy blue shoes, leaned forward and bowed at the start of the hearing but then turned and faced the judge. However, he remained silent throughout the proceedings.
Defense lawyer Damien Coffey told Judge Owens that his client was allowed to appear via video link at the next hearing. Legal aid was granted after the judge noted that the solicitor had shown a statement of Ms Egar’s means to the investigating team.
Judge Owens asked Mr Coffey if anything else was required on the remand warrant, but the lawyer replied, “nothing further arises,” and was allowed to speak to his client after she was led out of a room the court. He was remanded to Docas Centre, the women’s unit of Mountjoy Prison in Dublin.
The bodies of the two children were returned to the family after the Gardaí completed the formal identification process. Hundreds of mourners turned out for the children’s funeral service on September 15th at St Mel’s Cathedral before they were laid to rest at Cullyfad Cemetery in Longford.