A mother-of-four with no previous convictions has been jailed for life today after she pleaded guilty to murdering two of her children by setting fire to the car they were travelling in. Thelma Dennany and her little brother Mikey Dennany died after their mother Lynn Eager set fire to the car in which they were sitting.
In a statement to the court read today, the father of five year old Thelma and two year old Mikey Dennany told how money he had saved to build an extension on their home so the children could have their own room was instead spent on burying them. "I am nothing now but an empty shell. There's no purpose to life. I don't belong anywhere. I am an outsider looking in," he told the court.
The court heard that text messages sent by Eagar before she murdered her children showed a perception that it was in her interest and the interests of the children that, in her words, "they wouldn't hurt any more". Ms Eagar 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".
On the day of the murders, Mr Dennany left for work at about 6.30am and Ms Eagar dropped Thelma to national school and Michael to a preschool for toddlers, before picking them up in the afternoon. Her phone stopped operating at about 3.05pm when the detective said it appears she set fire to the car, a blue Lexus.
A member of the public who came on the scene was able to pull two year old Mickey from the fire, with the young boy passing away from his injuries, while his sister Thelma lost her life in the car. Their mother was in the passenger seat and was pulled to safety by a passerby and suffered only "minimal burns", the court heard.
Ms Eagar has no previous convictions and has been in custody since September 22 last year. With a barely audible whisper she pleaded guilty this morning when the two charges were put to her.
Outside court Garda Martina Walsh read out a statement on behalf of the family, which read: "Thelma and Michael were happy fun-loving children overflowing with love and mischief. Had they grown up they might have changed the world because they changed ours.'