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  • Northside East

Stardust review to take 90 days

Monday, 20th March, 2017 8:00am

Story by Tony McCullagh
Stardust review to take 90 days

The aftermath of the 1981 Stardust fire.

Stardust review to take 90 days

The aftermath of the 1981 Stardust fire.

AN INDEPENDENT assessment of ‘new evidence’ gathered by Stardust campaigners is expected to take a maximum of 90 days and will cost an estimated €114,000, Northside People can reveal.

Earlier this month, the Government approved a proposal by the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, to appoint retired judge Pat McCartan to conduct the review.

The highly respected former judge, who previously served as a TD for Dublin North East, will assess any new and updated evidence the Stardust Relatives and Victims’ Committee has uncovered in order to recommend whether a Commission of Investigation should be established into the 1981 nightclub tragedy.

A Dáil motion passed at the end of January specified that the assessment process should be conducted urgently by an independent person who has the trust of the families concerned. 

Judge McCartan was later identified as the preferred choice of the Stardust families and he has expressed a willingness to begin his work straight away.

The process will be run completely independent of Government. Northside People has learned that a document setting out the scope of the assessment process has been agreed with the judge, which envisages the review taking a maximum of 90 days.

It’s believed that a rough estimate of costs for the assessment is in the region of €114,000.

However, the Stardust Victims’ Committee has threatened to withdraw their cooperation from the assessment process unless their claim for €436,000 in historical expenses is met by the State.

It’s understood that the Government intends to deal with this as a separate matter outside the review process and discussions with the committee are ongoing.

Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath, said he believed the McCartan review represented the best way forward for the Stardust relatives in their efforts to secure a full Commission of Inquiry.

“The families have always had my full support and I will continue to do what I can to help them,” Minister McGrath said.

Meanwhile, chairperson of the Stardust Victims’ Committee, Antoinette Keegan, has urged any witnesses or people with information about the fire to contact them via their Facebook page (Justice for the Stardust 48).

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here