#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: 10°C Saturday 28 November 2020
Advertisement

The first hearing ahead of the new inquest for the Stardust fire victims will take place this week

In 1981, 48 people died in a fire at a nightclub in north Dublin and families have long campaigned for fresh inquests into their deaths.

The Stardust nightclub in the aftermath of the fire in 1981
The Stardust nightclub in the aftermath of the fire in 1981
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

THIS WEEK, THE first initial hearing into the one of the largest inquests to ever be conducted in Ireland will take place.

Last September, the Attorney General made the decision to order fresh inquests into the deaths of 48 people in the 1981 Stardust fire.  

The horrific fire in the nightclub in Artane, north Dublin, took place while young people attended a Valentine’s disco. 

Dissatisfied with the findings of the initial Tribunal of Inquiry and other investigations, families of the victims have long campaigned for fresh inquiries into the deaths of their loved ones. 

The ordering of new inquests was a significant milestone for families of the Stardust victims decades on from the tragedy, although the pandemic has scuppered any plans to get it fully under way this year.

On Wednesday 14 October, the first pre-inquest hearing will take place at the Dublin District Coroner’s Court in the city centre. 

It’s understood that this hearing – and potentially further pre-inquest hearings – will be mainly procedural and focus on submissions from legal representatives. 

Strict public health guidelines will be adhered to, as in other court settings, for Wednesday’s hearing.

The inquests won’t formally begin until next year, and are set to take place in Dublin Castle. Used for other large-scale State inquiries such as the Disclosures Tribunal, this venue is believed to be of adequate size given the scale of the inquests.

The inquests are set to be a massive undertaking to establish the circumstances surrounding the death of each person.

#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

On the inquests website, it says: “The inquest is a public enquiry to determine the truth. It is not a trial. It is an inquisitorial process to establish facts. An inquest is not a method of apportioning guilt or blame.”

The Coroner’s Officer confirmed to TheJournal.ie in August that 46 families who lost loved ones in the fire have been contacted about the new inquests “with a view to holding the inquests early in 2021″. 

Following on from TheJournal.ie’s award winning Stardust podcast, we will be covering every facet of the upcoming inquests and will regularly publish a newsletter to keep you up to date on events as they happen. You can sign up for that newsletter below.

About the author:

Sean Murray

Read next:

COMMENTS