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  • Northside East

Fresh inquest into Stardust Tragedy gets big welcome

Monday, 30th September, 2019 8:00am
Fresh inquest into Stardust Tragedy gets big welcome

Members and supporters of the Stardust Victims’ Committee pictured at the launch of the hugely successful postcard campaign outside Dail Eireann. FILE PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

Fresh inquest into Stardust Tragedy gets big welcome

Members and supporters of the Stardust Victims’ Committee pictured at the launch of the hugely successful postcard campaign outside Dail Eireann. FILE PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

LOCAL campaigners and public representatives have expressed delight that there will be a fresh inquest into the Stardust Tragedy. 

Attorney General Seamus Wolfe announced last week that the new inquest will be held into the tragic deaths of the 48 young lives that were lost at the Valentine’s Night disco in Artane in 1981.  

Dublin Bay North TD Tommy Broughan (Ind) said he is, of course, anxious to learn what the parameters of the inquest might be and the timeframe for the completion of the inquest.

“Ms Antoinette Keegan, her mother Ms Chrissie Keegan and their colleagues on the Stardust Relatives and Victims’ Committee, and, of course, other families affected by the awful fire, have been treated atrociously by successive Governments since 1981,” said Deputy Broughan.   

“Myself and other public representatives, especially recently Lynn Boylan, former Sinn Féin MEP, have consistently supported the committee and its members in seeking truth, closure and justice.  

“I sincerely hope that the fresh inquests are conducted in an urgent and transparent manner and that there is finally justice, accountability and some closure at last coming to these very determined but heartbroken families and victims.”

Dublin Bay North TD Denise Mitchell (SF) said she is delighted for the families and those who have campaigned for so long.

“They have never given up the struggle and have fought to keep their loved ones’ memories intact in the effort to discover the truth about what really happened that horrific night. I cannot say how much I admire their determination and passion.

“Justice delayed is truly justice denied and I dearly hope that this is the opportunity for them to get the answers they seek.”

Deputy Mitchell said the Government must now ensure that adequate resources are put in place so that the families do not have to wait any longer than they already have. 

“Thirty-eight years for answers is more than anyone should have to bear,” she added. 

 “I would also like to highlight the tireless efforts of my party colleague Lynn Boylan who has worked with the Stardust families for years.”

Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (Lab) said the families deserve a swift and thorough inquest. 

“Stardust was an event that scarred the Northside for a generation,” he said. 

“Hopefully this is the beginning of a process that can get justice for the 48 who died and their families.

“It has been my long held belief that if this occurred in another part of the State, justice would have been reached much earlier.

“We have seen from Bloody Sunday and Hillsborough inquests how sustained campaigning can eventually get to the truth.”

Deputy Mitchell added: “We now must scrutinise the terms of reference for the inquest and see details of the proposed timetable.”  

Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath also welcomed the Attorney General’s decision.  

“I am particularly delighted for all the families who have fought so long for truth and justice,” he said.

“I stepped forward to insert the Stardust Tragedy into the Programme of Government and have been working behind the scenes to this end. 

“I would like to commend the AG Seamus Wolfe for his hard work and careful consideration in making this very 'just decision' both in the interests of the families of the 48 people who died and the 214 people who were injured but also in the public interest.”

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