Long-awaited Stardust nightclub tragedy inquest begins today

Long-awaited Stardust nightclub tragedy inquest begins today

A LONG-AWAITED inquest into the deaths of 48 people in a Dublin nightclub fire more than 40 years will get underway today.

On Saturday, February 14, 1981, in the early hours of the morning, the Stardust Ballroom in Artane went up in flames, killing 48 people.

More than 200 others were injured in the blaze.

For 42 years the families and friends of the victims have called for answers and campaigned for justice for their loved ones, after an initial inquiry held shortly after the tragedy was dismissed as unsatisfactory.

In 2019, following a campaign by the families calling for a new inquiry, Ireland’s Attorney General confirmed that a fresh inquest into the deaths would be held.

The interior of the Stardust which went on fire on the morning of Valentines Day in 1981, killing 48 young people

Last year the High Court rejected a challenge by former Stardust manager Eamon Butterfly, whose family owned the nightclub, to have 'unlawful killing' excluded as an option for jurors in the inquest.

The court ruled that the verdict will be open to the jury.

That inquest begins this morning at 11am at The Pillar Room at Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital.

Last week the Dublin City Coroner selected 15 jurors and a number of reserve jurors for the inquest, which will be streamed live each day.

The inquest, which will be the largest ever to be heard in Ireland, is expected to last six months.

It will sit from Tuesday to Friday each week, Dublin City Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane has confirmed.

The live link to the inquest can be accessed here for anyone wishing to attend remotely.