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Need a new podcast for over the holidays? Here's how to listen to TheJournal.ie's Stardust

In a six episode series described as ‘devastating and important’ by The Guardian, TheJournal.ie will take you through the story from the start to the current day.

IN THE EARLY hours of Valentine’s Day 1981, a fire tore through the Stardust nightclub on Dublin’s northside.

48 people were killed – their average age was around 19. Over 200 were wounded.

Stardust became a name etched into folk memory in Ireland. It tore the entire community apart, but for people across the country, finding out about the Stardust was a moment that you remember.

A Tribunal of Inquiry into that night revealed a litany of safety failings but the State’s response fell short of what many hoped for, and to this day the families and survivors are still fighting for closure.

In a six episode series described as ‘devastating and important’ by The Guardian and with a five-star rating on Apple Podcasts, TheJournal.ie will take you through the story from the start to the current day.

You’ll learn about how doors were chained shut, fire exits blocked, a flawed investigation process, a near total lack of support for survivors and a perception of bias against their working class background.

You’ll hear how a community was told one of their own had caused the fire that killed their loved ones and how the flawed standards in fire safety prompted a complete step change in Ireland.

You’ll hear from survivors, from first responders, from journalists, all of whom still have not forgotten what happened that night. You’ll hear from the families, who desperately want closure and justice over 38 years after their children went to a disco and never came home.

  • Search for us on your podcast app of choice by typing in ‘Stardust’ or ‘TheJournal.ie’.
  • You can also find us on your podcast app of choice by clicking the link below…

Stardust is presented by Sean Murray, produced by Nicky Ryan with executive producer Christine Bohan. Image in cover art by PA Images.

Episode 1: The biggest show on the northside

Dublin in 1981 was a very different place compared with today- and the Stardust nightclub in Artane was the place to go, especially for a generation growing up at a time when the best chance of a decent job lay abroad.


Source: Stardust/SoundCloud

Episode 2: A freezing cold Friday the 13th

Excitement had been building for the final of the Stardust’s dancing competition at the Valentine’s disco. No-one going that evening knew how their night would end – or anything about questions raised previously about the club’s safety record.


Source: Stardust/SoundCloud

Episode 3: And then everything went black

Most people didn’t even notice the fire at first. They kept dancing. But soon, smoke began to engulf the ballroom, and panic spread. The first thought on most people’s minds were: ‘Where are my friends, and how are we going to get out of here?’.


Source: Stardust/SoundCloud

Episode 4: There’s been a phone call from Dublin


Source: Stardust/SoundCloud

Episode 5: Money won’t bring my brother back

The State promised a swift response in the wake of the Stardust fire. Within weeks, a tribunal was set up to investigate. However between the tribunal’s findings and the ‘take it or leave it’ offer of compensation, this was just the beginning, rather than the end, of a battle for the families.


Source: Stardust/SoundCloud

Episode 6: They want it to go away, but it won’t

Over the years, it seemed as though the Stardust fire slipped from the public’s mind. The families and survivors never gave up, but at times it felt like their campaign was going no where – all that changed in September 2019.


Source: Stardust/SoundCloud

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About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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