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Wednesday 22 March 2023 Dublin: 12°C The Stardust memorial within the Stardust Memorial Park in Coolock
# 41 years on
Candlelit vigil for the 41st anniversary of the Stardust fire to take place tomorrow
The vigil will take place at 1pm, at the site of the former Stardust nightclub.

A CANDLELIT VIGIL for the 41st anniversary of the Stardust nightclub fire is set to take place tomorrow afternoon.

The vigil, organised by families of the 48 people who died in the tragedy, will take place at 1pm tomorrow afternoon at the site of the former nightclub in Artane.

Irish folk singer Christy Moore and former RTÉ broadcaster Charlie Bird are set to attend the vigil.

“We are overwhelmed that we will have the presence of Christy Moore, Charlie & Claire Bird. We are appealing to people to join us,” said campaigner Antoinette Keegan, who lost her two sisters in the fire.

The tragedy, which occurred on 14 February 1981, saw 48 people killed and over 200 injured when a fire broke out inside the Stardust nightclub during a Valentine’s Day disco.

Keegan said that an annual mass is planned for tomorrow morning at 11.30am in St Joseph’s the Artisan Church in Coolock, for the 48 people who passed away.

A wreath-laying ceremony at the Stardust Memorial Park will follow the mass, before the vigil moves to the site of the former Stardust nightclub on the Kilmore Road in Artane.

The candlelit vigil itself is set to begin at 1pm, with families who lost loved ones set to light candles in their memory.

The candles will then be presented to Bird and Moore will perform They Never Came Home, a song he wrote for the victims of the Stardust disaster in 1985.

There will also be poetry read by both Bill Glen, who lost his sister Josephine Glen, and Maurice McHugh, who lost his only daughter Caroline McHugh in the tragedy.

According to Keegan, there will then be a presentation on behalf of the families who lost loved ones and the Stardust Victims Committee to those who have “helped us along the way of our journey for truth and justice”.

Keegan said that the families will then sing You’ll Never Walk Alone, before the local fire service will let off the sirens of their fire engines.

“There’s still a lot of people coming down,” said Keegan, saying that there will be people travelling down from Belfast for the vigil.

A second inquest into the tragedy was ordered in 2019 by former Attorney General Seamus Wolfe, with the inquest itself slated to begin in March following multiple delays.

Currently, there are issues with the empanelling of a jury for the inquest.

This is due to members of an inquest jury not having the right to be paid. In a criminal case, jury members are usually paid by their employer while they sit on the jury, but no provision is made for inquest jurors.

Speaking in the Dáil last week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that the situation was unusual due to the expected length of the inquest. He added that Justice Minister Helen McEntee is examining the situation.

The most recent pre-inquest hearing took place last Wednesday.