Woman pleads guilty to murder of her two children after setting fire to car

Woman Pleads Guilty To Murder Of Her Two Children After Setting Fire To Car
Thelma Dennany (5) and her little brother Mikey Dennany (2) died after their mother Lynn Eger set fire to the car they were in. Photo: Family handout
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Eoin Reynolds

A 49-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to the murder of her two children, aged two and five, amid emotional scenes at the Central Criminal Court on Thursday.

Thelma Dennany (5) and her little brother Mikey Dennany (2) died after their mother Lynn Eger set fire to the car in which they were sitting.


The court heard that Thelma was so badly burned that people at the scene were not even aware she was in the back seat. Her little brother, who she adored, was pulled from the car but could not be saved.

Their mother was in the passenger seat and was pulled to safety by a passerby and suffered only "minimal burns", the court heard.

Michael Dennany, the father of both children, wrote a statement for the court that was read by Detective Inspector Thomas Quinn.

Mr Dennany wrote that the births of his two children were the happiest days of his life. Holding Thelma for the fist time, he said, was the "most terrifying" moment but he was the "happiest man alive, I was smitten."


When Mikey arrived two and a half years later, Thelma became "the best big sister ever, she wanted to do everything for him. From the moment they met they were stuck together like glue: Fearless, mischievous partners in crime."

The day that they died, Mr Dennany had planned to go collecting chestnuts with his children after school. "We never got to do that," he said. "Their daddy should have been there to protect them. When they needed me the most, I was useless."

"When I left them that morning they were asleep, I didn't get a chance to say goodbye... I used to come home to a busy home full of noise and toys and love. The toys are still there but not the noise or the love... Just heartache and despair."

He said he had hoped to see his children through school and "at a push to see them married, but I never thought I would bury them... The only comfort I have is that they are together forever."


Ms Eager also wrote a letter which was read out by her barrister Sean Gillane SC. She apologised to everyone she had hurt, for the "pain, horror and suffering" she had caused to her family and to her two "gorgeous children".

"Looking back, there were other avenues I could and should have travelled," she wrote. "I'm full of regret."

Lynn Eger (49), with an address of Winetown, Rathowen, Co Westmeath, was charged with the murders of Thelma (5) and Michael Dennany (2) at Lackan, Multyfarnham on September 9th, 2022. With a barely audible whisper she pleaded guilty on Thursday morning when the two charges were put to her.

At the end of the hearing, Mr Justice Paul McDermott imposed a life sentence for each of the two murders.


"I can only express my commisserations to everyone concerned and to all who loved and cherished Thelma and Mikey," he said.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can freephone the Samaritans 24 hours a day for confidential support at 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.

You can also freephone the national Bereavement Support Line at 1800 80 70 77 (Monday-Friday 10am-1pm). The contact information for a range of mental health supports is available at mentalhealthireland.ie/get-support

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