A charity that supports domestic violence victims has said it is devastated over the deaths of a young mother and two toddlers in a fire at a housing complex it runs.
The 27-year-old woman and two girls aged two and three died after a blaze broke out in an apartment in Clondalkin, west Dublin, in the middle of the night.
Fire rescue teams were on the scene within a few minutes and took two women and three children from the first-floor apartment.
Paramedics treated them in the grounds of the Cluainin Cronan complex. Despite resuscitation efforts, a woman and two children died.
The second woman, aged in her 30s, and a four-year-old boy were said to be in a critical condition in Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin.
Fiona Ryan, chief executive of domestic violence charity Sonas, said: "We are absolutely devastated.
"Our sympathies and condolences are with the relatives and friends of the deceased and all those impacted by this awful tragedy."
Ms Ryan said the charity was liaising with gardai and fire chiefs investigating the circumstances of the fire.
"We are currently supporting other families in the apartment complex including those unable to return to their homes because of fire damage, for whom we are sourcing alternative accommodation," she said.
The Cluainin Cronan complex is used by Sonas to house women who have sought refuge from domestic violence and move on to supported accommodation for up to two years.
There are four apartments in the block where the fire broke out and the charity uses another six apartments in the secure complex, with up to 40 women and children living there.
Ms Ryan appealed for people in the area to be given privacy as they were coming to terms with the tragedy while trying to move on with their lives following domestic violence.
It is understood that another seven residents were evacuated from the block where the fire started.
Gardai appealed for witnesses to come forward as technical examinations continue to determine the cause of the fire.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Children's Minister Katherine Zappone both offered sympathies to the relatives and friends of those who died.
Eoin O Broin, Sinn Fein TD in Dublin Mid-West and an elected representative in the Clondalkin area for many years, said his thoughts were with those directly affected and that local people were numbed by the tragedy.
"The community here in Kilcronan is resilient and will come together to comfort those who have lost loved ones in this fire," he said.
In a separate incident, a number of people were injured after a blaze broke out in an apartment complex in Dominick Street in Dublin's north inner city.
Twenty people were either rescued or managed to flee the building and some of those who escaped the fire were treated for the effects of smoke inhalation.
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Niall Carson / PA Wire.