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Retired judge has three months to review new details from Stardust fire tragedy

The government agreed an independent person would review the new evidence Stardust victims’ families say has recently been discovered.

Antionette and her mother Christine Keegan who lost relative in the fire at Stardust in 1981.
Antionette and her mother Christine Keegan who lost relative in the fire at Stardust in 1981.
Image: RollingNews.ie

RETIRED JUDGE PAT McCarten has three months to examine the new evidence Stardust victims’ families say has recently been discovered into the tragedy.

A total of 48 people died and 214 were injured in the fire that engulfed the Stardust nightclub in Artane, north Dublin, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day, 14 February 1981.

After 36 years, the campaigners are now one step closer to having another investigation held into the tragedy if judge McCartan deems it necessary.

There was deadlock in January between Independent Alliance junior minister Finian McGrath and his Fine Gael Cabinet colleagues over a motion put forward calling for an independent inquiry into the 1981 nightclub fire.

McGrath, who has long campaigned for the families, asked his Cabinet colleagues to support the motion, but they would not agree.

However, the proposal for an independent expert to review the new evidence, with a view to establishing a commission of investigation, was accepted by government.

Antoinette Keegan, a survivor of the Stardust who lost her sisters Mary and Martina in the fire, said the new evidence cannot be ignored.

It’s understood the new evidence pertains to the thousands of transcripts of the original Keane tribunal investigation, which researcher Geraldine Foy reviewed.

The families believe she has discovered new evidence which disputes the original findings that the fire began in a seat.

Keegan is adamant the fire started in the roof-space, and not the seat.

“The Keane report does not match up to what me and the other 100 people experienced that night when the fire was coming down on top of us,” she said.

Read:“Insults towards the Stardust victims” submission delivered to Attorney General>

Read: New garda file sent to DPP over Stardust tragedy>

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