Landlord of house where Longford student died in Belgian house fire found guilty

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Landlord of house where Longford student died in Belgian house fire found guilty

The late Dace Zarina (22)

The landlord of a house where a Longford student died in a fire in Belgium three years ago, has been found guilty.

Twenty-two-year-old Latvian national Dace Zarina was one of two women who died in the blaze at an apartment in the Belgian city of Leuven in January 2014. 

Ms Zarina was a former student of Mean Scoil Mhuire in Longford town and had been on a work placement at the Leuven Institute, also known as the Irish College.

She, together, with fellow GMIT student 19-year-old Sara Gibadlo, from Oranmore, Co Galway died in a blaze which ripped through the student house they were living in.

Malachy Vallely, director of the Leuven institute for Ireland in Europe and owner of the student accommodation where both women were staying was this morning found guilty.

The Institute was fined €60,000 and Mr Vallely has been ordered to pay €6,000 by a Belgian court while also being given a one year suspended sentence.

It was also heard that another student who lived in the house, Shane Bracken, accidentally started the fire when he fell asleep after lighting a cigarette following a night out.

He was likewise found guilty on a charge of causing involuntary death and received a three-month suspended sentence.

He was also fined €600.

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