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Stardust families hold protest outside Department of Justice over inquest venue issues

The lease on the current venue, the RDS, is set to expire in February, before any of the hearings have taken place.

The Stardust families have saught confirmation on a new venue for the inquests.
The Stardust families have saught confirmation on a new venue for the inquests.
Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

THE FAMILIES OF the 48 people who died in the Stardust nightclub fire have called for the Department of Justice to secure a new venue for the inquest into the tragedy.

The protest took place this afternoon over a lack of clarity on a new venue for the inquest, with the lease for the current venue, the RDS, set to expire on 22 February. 

Currently, no hearings of the inquest have taken place.

Sinn Féin Senator, Lynn Boylan, has said that she is frustrated with the delays in finding a new venue, adding that she and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald have written to Justice Minister Helen McEntee on the matter.

“This is the third occasion in the last eight months that the Department of Justice has actively failed to meet its responsibilities to the families of the Stardust victims,” said Boylan.

“The Department has known since October that the lease for inquests to be held in the RDS would expire in February, yet here we are in mid-January and still no venue has been secured.

“It is unbelievable that they failed to plan ahead and secure an appropriate alternative venue. ”

She said that the “lack of certainty” on whether or not the inquests would proceed on schedule is a “cruel blow” to the families of those who died in the tragedy.

Boylan called for a venue to be secured before the end of the month and that there could be no delay to the inquest hearings.

“For 40 years, these families have had to battle against systemic abuse in their campaign for justice,” said Boylan.

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“There can be absolutely no delays to the inquest hearings; securing a human rights-compliant venue for the Stardust inquests needs to happen before the end of the month. 

“The families have waited long enough.”

Previously, there was a funding row between the Department of Justice and the Stardust families surrounding legal aid.

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