#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

'There was a big build up to it for weeks': Episode two of Stardust out now

The second episode of Stardust delves into the stories of those who went there that night and the history of the building in Artane.


“I got that shudder and said, ‘Jesus, don’t tell me they’re turning on the heating now’. It was nearly time to go home. I looked at my watch and it was 1.33am. I was after getting one of these digital watches for my birthday. One of these you pressed and the light came on. We looked at it and said ‘Now they’re turning the heat on!’. It turns out it wasn’t the heat, but the first heat from the fire I felt.” – Linda Bishop

13 FEBRUARY 1981 was all set to be a big night at the Stardust club in Artane, north Dublin.

After a series of heats featuring dozens of entrants, two people were to set to be crowned the king and queen of the dancefloor in the disco dancing competition.

In Episode Two of Stardust from TheJournal.ie, we hear from the people who were there that night on the excitement that been building up for weeks ahead of Valentine’s weekend, and the lengths you’d have to go to get past the bouncers.

We also look at the history of the building – which was formerly a jam factory – and how it came to be opened as a nightclub with attached bar and restaurant in the late 1970s.

stardust map A map of the interior of the Stardust Source: Houses of the Oireachtas

Click here to view a larger version.

In the months prior to the fire, the Stardust had been inspected a number of times by Dublin Corporation. Its inspector found problems such as locked doors and obstructed exits.

The owners of the Stardust wrote back to Dublin Corporation to say that “all exits will be kept clear when the public are on the premises”. This wasn’t the case in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 1981.

But on a fiercely cold February night, none of the young people going to the Stardust knew any of this.

They just wanted to have a good time. And they did. Up until around 1.30am, it was a night like any other. Within minutes, however, all that would change.

Find episode one here.

You can listen to the podcast below, or listen to it wherever you get your podcasts. If you like what you hear, please give us a rating and review.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Source: Stardust/SoundCloud

Search for Stardust or TheJournal.ie on your favourite podcast app. Can’t find it? Email nicky@thejournal.ie.

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

About the author:

Sean Murray

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel