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  • Northside East

Pressure mounts for new Stardust inquest

Monday, 26th November, 2018 8:00am
Pressure mounts for new Stardust inquest

The Stardust Postcard Campaign stepped up a gear last week when families of the victims and supporters marched to the office of the Attorney General. PHOTO: MEGAN O’SULLIVAN-SWEENEY

Pressure mounts for new Stardust inquest

The Stardust Postcard Campaign stepped up a gear last week when families of the victims and supporters marched to the office of the Attorney General. PHOTO: MEGAN O’SULLIVAN-SWEENEY

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THE campaign for a new inquest into the Stardust Fire Tragedy intensified last week when more than 48,000 signed postcards were delivered to the Attorney General’s office by victims’ families and their supporters.

Hundreds of people marched to the AG’s office from Westmoreland Street, including long-time supporter Christy Moore, who wrote the song ‘They Never Came Home’ in honour of the victims and the families’ campaign for justice.

Dublin Bay North TD Tommy Broughan (Ind) raised the issue in the Dáil later that day (November 20).

In response to Deputy Broughan, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Attorney General’s office would give the request for a new inquest into the tragedy full consideration.

Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan, a key figure in the postcard campaign, said: "This Government failed to keep its promise to the families of the Stardust tragedy. 

“It is shameful that they had to resort to collecting signatures to demand a new inquest. However, the speed and volume with which the signatures were gathered shows that the public stand with the families and not the Government and that a new inquest is not just in the families’ interests but also the public's." 

Deputy Broughan said he has always admired the continued determination and tenacity of the campaigners involved in the Stardust Victims’ Committee in the face of closed doors from Government. 

“They rightly want truth, justice and closure and have tried many avenues over the almost 38 years to get answers for the devastated families and community,” he said. 

“The sheer scale and overwhelming public support for this ‘Truth’ campaign shows that the drive is there to give final justice and peace for these families. 

“I’m calling on the Taoiseach to meet with campaigners, to listen to their concerns and for the Attorney General to grant a new inquest into the 48 deaths.”

Dublin Bay North TD Denise Mitchell (SF) said a fresh inquest is the only way to ensure families and loved ones of the 48 young people who died that night will get closure.

“I first of all want to commend the Victims’ Committee, the families and the loved ones of those who died that night and all those who helped with this campaign,” said Deputy Mitchell.

“The large turnout and the sheer number of signatures handed into the Office of the Attorney General sends a very clear message that the public want to know the truth about what happened at the Stardust Nightclub on Valentine’s Night 1981.”

Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath said: “I have worked with and for the families of the 48 deceased and the people who were injured in the Stardust tragedy for over 20 years. 

“I ensured that the current ‘Programme for a Partnership Government’ is to have full regard to any new evidence which emerges which would be likely to definitely establish the cause of the fire at Stardust.    

“I was desperately disappointed on a personal basis and for the families by the failure of anyone to explain the cause of the fire when the most recent McCartan Report concluded, having considered all the material submitted, that there is no new or updated evidence disclosed and no new inquiry is warranted.” 

“As far as I’m concerned, my door is always open to consider any new and credible evidence in the future.” 

Christine and Antoinette Keegan (front) pictured with families and supporters in the city centre last week. PHOTO: MEGAN O’SULLIVAN-SWEENEY

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