Two men spotted at malicious fire scene

Published Thursday, 26 April 2012
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As the mother and daughter killed in a fatal house fire in Dungannon were laid to rest on Thursday, police revealed they were seeking to identify two men seen in the area around the time of the blaze.

Two men spotted at malicious fire scene
The funeral for Betty and Deirdre McGirr was held at St Malachy's Edendork. (© UTV)

Requiem Mass for 71-year-old Betty McGirr and her daughter Deirdre, 38, was held in St Malachy's Church in Edendork - nearly two weeks after their deaths at Dunlea Vale on Saturday 14 April.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing, but it is being treated as arson by police.

Detectives have now released information about two men they say they want eliminate from their enquiries.

"We need these men to identify themselves to police," the officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Richard Harkness, said.

"We have had a significant response from the community to our appeals for information, but our picture is not completely clear."

We are particularly interested in talking to anyone in the Dunlea Vale and Dunavon areas who has had their wheelie bins interfered with or set on fire in the past two years, or who has seen young people starting fires.


The first man was seen in Dunlea Vale between 9.30pm and 10pm on the night of the fire.

He's thought to be in his early 30s and described as being about 5ft 8ins tall and of a slim build, with swarthy skin and dark around the eyes. He was wearing a black hoodie with the hood pulled up and a white motif on the front.

The second man was seen in the same Dunlea Vale area at about 2am on the morning after the blaze broke out.

He's thought to be aged around 30 and described as being about 6ft tall and of a slim build, with dark skin and thickish black hair. He was wearing a light grey sweater or hoodie-type top and dark bottoms.

Police have already said that Deirdre McGirr's long-term boyfriend - who escaped the blaze - is not a suspect.

"I would ask anyone in the area who knows anything about what happened to come and talk to us," Detective Chief Inspector Harkness added.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Special Incident Room at Dungannon police station on 028 8775 0559. Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

© UTV News
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