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The 48 victims of the Stardust fire
stardust inquest

Stardust jury hears list of fire's victims and causes of death as inquest near conclusion

Dr Cullinane went through each of the victims, their cause of death, and how they were identified after the tragic fire.

THE LAST MOVEMENTS and the causes of death of the 48 people who lost their lives in the Stardust fire have been outlined as part of the summary of evidence in Dublin District Coroner’s Court.

During the final stage of the inquest into the deaths at the Stardust nightclub fire in Artane in 1981, coroner Dr Myra Cullinane has been summarising the evidence heard by the jury since proceedings began last April.

Dr Cullinane provided a summary of the pathological evidence, which was previously given by consultant pathologists Dr Richard Shepherd, Dr Nat Cary, and Dr Benjamin Swift, all of whom conducted a review of postmortem evidence in the case of the 48 victims.

Dr Cullinane went through each of the deceased alphabetically, outlining their date of birth, their last movements on the night of the fire, the date on which they died, and the identification method used to establish their identity after their death.

The jury were reminded that some of the deceased were identified visually, while others were identified via their property, such as clothing or jewellery, or in some cases through their dental records. Five of the deceased were not identified until developments in DNA made it possible for their remains to be identified in 2007. These five were Eamon Loughman, Paul Wade, Michael Ffrench, Richard Bennett and Murtagh Kavanagh.

The coroner also gave details of the cause of death in each case, with most of the victims dying from rapid incapacitation due to the inhalation of fire fumes and heat.

At the conclusion of the summary of the pathological evidence, Dr Cullinane said that she would conclude the day’s proceedings out of respect for the families of the deceased.

She told the jury that the next part of the inquest will be the summary of the evidence given by fire experts.

The inquest continues tomorrow in the Pillar Room of the Rotunda Hospital.