Stardust jury returns ‘unlawful killing’ verdict as year-long inquest comes to a close

Stardust jury returns ‘unlawful killing’ verdict as year-long inquest comes to a close

THE jury in the Stardust inquests have today returned a verdict of ‘unlawful killing' regarding each of the 48 people who died in the nightclub fire.

The foreman of the jury told coroner Myra Cullinane that they had reached the majority verdict after 11 days of deliberation following the year-long inquest into the deaths of those who were killed when a fire broke out at the Dublin nightclub in the early hours of February 14, 1981.

Fresh inquests into the deaths in the Artane tragedy were ordered by Ireland's attorney general in 2019, but only began in April last year.

Returning their verdict, which was given at 2pm this afternoon, the jury further confirmed that they believed the cause of the fire to be an "electrical fault in a hot press" within the nightclub building.

The aftermath of the deadly Stardust nightclub fire in Dublin in 1981 which killed 48 people and injured 200

They also found that furnishings in the ballroom, inclduing the foam in the seating and carpet tiles that were on the walls, contributed to the spread of the fire.

"To the families I acknowledge the deaths of these 48 young people is a source of ongoing grief to those who loved them and it remains the defining loss of their lives," the coroner said after the verdict was read.

The Stardust fire inquests jury returned a verdict of 'unlawful killing' today

"However, I hope that family members will have taken some solace from the fact that these fresh inquests were held, that the facts surrounding the deaths were examined in detail, that moving testimony was heard from many of those involved in the events of the night and, most importantly, that you the families felt fully involved in proceedings, however difficult it was to hear all of the evidence,” she added.

"The fact that these inquests have been held at all is in no small part due to the persistence and commitment of families over the years.

"And, finally, we remember those 48 young people who lost their lives on that fateful night. It is their lives that we've sought to vindicate by way of these inquests."