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Coroner hopes to begin Stardust inquests before more victims' family members die

Fresh inquests for the 48 killed in the 1981 tragedy are hoped to commence in September.

Phylis and Maurice McHugh, Selina McDermott, Antoinette Keegan, Louise Leech and Lorraine Keegan arriving for the preliminary inquest into the Stardust fire in Dublin.
Phylis and Maurice McHugh, Selina McDermott, Antoinette Keegan, Louise Leech and Lorraine Keegan arriving for the preliminary inquest into the Stardust fire in Dublin.
Image: PA

A DUBLIN CORONER has said she would like to see an inquest into the Stardust tragedy commence before more family members die.

Forty-eight people died in the nightclub fire in Dublin on 14 February 1981.

A pre-inquest review hearing at Dublin District Coroner’s Court today heard that over the last month, a further two relatives of Stardust victims had died.

Dublin city coroner Dr Myra Cullinane expressed her condolences to the families of victims Margaret Kiernan and Helena Mangan, whose mothers have both died since the last pre-inquest hearing took place on 11 May.

Cullinane welcomed the families to court this afternoon, adding she hopes the venue will soon see the start of proceedings.

“Preparatory work at our end is at a stage such that I would be in a position to commence in September,” she said.

She outlined issues which may affect that date, including the publication of legislation around juries for inquests which is intended to be passed before the summer recess.

There are also judicial review proceedings due to be heard in July.

A lawyer representing the majority of the families of the victims informed the hearing about the latest deaths of family members.

The coroner said: “I am very sorry to hear of the passing of two further members of families, Mrs Kiernan and Mrs Mangan.

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“We were advised at the last pre-inquest hearing of another family member who had died, and according to my records I think we had 13 members of families that have died since the direction of the Attorney General, and now to that number I add these further two members of family that have died.

“I offer my very deepest condolences to the families, the Kiernan family and the Mangan family.

“This is something, I am sure that everyone is mindful of. We not wish to see increasing numbers of family members passing away before we reach the hearing of these inquests.”

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