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'We all miss tragic Mari terribly but it gives me comfort the kids see my little Angel all the time' HEARTBROKEN MUM REVEALS S TORMENT OF BLAZE GIRL'S DEATH.


THE devastated mother of a girl killed in an arson attack last night said she believes her "angel" is still with her.

Teresa Keane said she will never get over the death of five-year-old Mari Keane-Connolly who was killed when the house she was in was set on fire last October.

But she said it brings her comfort to know that her other young children "see Mari" all the time.

Teresa was speaking just days after her daughter's killer, John Lynch, 33, was sentenced to 13 years for her manslaughter as well as arson causing serious harm.

Speaking from the family home in Boyle, Co Roscommon, Teresa said: "I believe that she is still with me. I moved out of my last house two months ago as it held too many sad memories of the time I spent there with Mari.

"We moved to a new house and one day my daughter Ashley was sitting on the windowsill.

"She is three soon. She asked my friend who was visiting me at the time if she would make her toast.

"She had just made her some and asked her if she was still hungry to which she Ashley replied, 'No, it's not for me - it's for Mari. She is sitting beside me.' "They believe kids under seven are able to see things like this. All my daughters are always asking for her. They miss her terribly."

Mari and her two sisters Lauren and Naomi were staying at their dad Richard Connolly's house in Boyle, Co Roscommon, on the fateful night because Teresa was in hospital having given giving birth to twins.

Hero Richard managed to get his three terrified daughters out through an upstairs bedroom window and on to a roof to escape the blaze.

But he ended up falling during the frantic rescue bid and suffered severe spinal injuries.

And while his two older daughters managed to jump to safety, frightened Mari crawled back into the inferno and was killed.

Jealous Lynch set the house ablaze in a sick revenge bid after finding his girlfriend Anita O'Hara fully-clothed in bed with Mari's uncle John "Boy" Connolly.

After starting the blaze Lynch - high on cocaine and booze - rang Ms O'Hara to boast: "Now you c***. Precious John Boy's house is burning... the rats in Termon will have nowhere to live."

Teresa said she hopes she never ever again sets eyes on Lynch who is serving his sentence at high-security Castlerea Prison.

She added: "I'm just so glad it is over. I hope I never ever have to see his face again. It was so hard having to see it on Tuesday, pure torture knowing that he was sitting there and knowing what he had done."

She added: "What hurt was knowing that Mari was where she is now because of him."

And Teresa said she will never forgive him for him for the horrific crime which stole Mari's life.

She revealed: "He apologised in court but it means nothing to me. I will never forgive him for what he has done. I think he was only saying sorry for show in the court anyway. I don't think he is one bit remorseful for what he did.

"His only worry was that he didn't want to be known as a child killer. They get a terrible time in prison, anyone who has hurt a child.

"He's in Castlerea Prison and I hope that's where he stays. I never want to see him again.

"Myself and Richard feel like we got justice for Mari but at the end of the day when he has served his time he will still have a life to

look forward to, my daughter won't."

Tortured Teresa said she still has nightmares about what little Mari may have gone through on the night.

She added: "There were just some parts of the case that were unbearable to listen to. It was like reliving a nightmare.

"Knowing that Mari was awake, conscious when it happened, the house burning around her, kills me to think about. I do wonder was she screaming, did she feel any pain?" And the mum-of-seven said what should have been a happy time of her life, having twins, turned out to be one of the worst.

Teresa said: "I had the twins on October 1 and Mari died on the 3rd. It was happiness followed by the worst tragedy you could ever face. I got a message from Mari the day after I had the babies telling me she couldn't wait for me to get home and cook her favourite dinner and go in to school and tell the teacher about her new sisters." And Teresa said Richard, who tried frantically to save the girls on the night of the blaze, is still emotionally and physically destroyed.

She added: "Richard has his good days and his bad days. He can walk but he will always have to walk with a crutch.

"If he walks so far he gets tired. He will never be the same that he was.

"Before the accident he was active 24/7. He used to be in and out of town, doing odd jobs, you name it.

"He's just not able any more. It has had such an emotional impact on him too, not just physical.

"I will never know what himself and the girls went through that night, I can only imagine."

Teresa said she has received an unbelievable amount of support from the public which has helped her but knows that she too will never recover from the tragedy.


Shattered family... Teresa with Mari, and, inset above, with sisters Lauren and Naomi. Right, dad Richard at Mari's funeral Evil killer... John Lynch Innocent victim... Mari, 5
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 24, 2012
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