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The victims of the Stardust fire.
Dublin District Coroner’s Court

Coroner answers jury's legal questions on third day of deliberations in Stardust inquest

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane today answered questions posed by the jury in the Dublin District Coroner’s Court.

THE JURY AT the Stardust inquest have broken their deliberations for the weekend having completed a third day considering their verdict on the causes of death of the 48 victims of the fire. 

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane today answered questions posed by the jury in the Dublin District Coroner’s Court, after they sought legal guidance from the coroner about the general questionnaire they were presented with at the start of their deliberations. 

These questions were put to the coroner at the previous day’s proceedings, and Dr Cullinane deferred answering them until today’s sitting. After addressing the jury before lunchtime, the jury retired to recommence their deliberations.  

The jury were previously told that it is their role to determine the identity, date and place of death and the circumstances surrounding the death of each of the 48 people who lost their lives when fire consumed the Stardust nightclub in the early hours of Valentine’s Day, 1981.  

The jury must also record a verdict in relation to the deaths. They were told that the verdicts they can return are accidental death, death by misadventure, an open verdict, a narrative verdict and unlawful killing.   

Before beginning their deliberations, Dr Cullinane informed the jury that the unlawful killing verdict was markedly different from the other four and if the jury returned this verdict, they had formed the view that the law had been broken in a serious fashion. They were told that the standard of proof for this verdict was beyond reasonable doubt, while the standard for the other verdicts is the balance of probabilities.  

The jury will now resume their deliberations on Monday in the Pillar Room of the Rotunda Hospital.