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Stardust campaigners outside the Rotunda in November
stardust inquests

Fresh inquests into Stardust nightclub tragedy due to begin on 19 April

The jury for the inquests will be empanelled on 17 April.

LAST UPDATE | 18 Jan 2023

FRESH INQUESTS INTO the Stardust nightclub tragedy are due to begin on 19 April, a pre-inquest hearing heard this afternoon.

At the 17th pre-inquest hearing, Senior Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane confirmed that the jury for the inquest would be empanelled two days prior on 17 April and that the inquests themselves would begin on 19 April.

The Stardust tragedy saw 48 young people killed and over 200 people injured at a disco in the Stardust nightclub in Artane on 14 February 1981.

It comes after months of delay to the inquests, following legal action taken by the former manager of the Stardust nightclub, Eamon Butterly, over the decision of Cullinane to include ‘unlawful killing’ as a potential verdict.

However, the High Court ruled last November that a verdict of unlawful killing would be made available to potential jurors.

Speaking at the hearing this afternoon, Cullinane said that she did not anticipate many additional pre-inquest hearings ahead of the inquests beginning in April.

The jury are due to be selected with the assistance of the Courts Service after legislation was passed through the Dáil last year.

Speaking to The Journal, prominent Stardust campaigner Antoinette Keegan said that the announcement of a date was unexpected but welcome.

“To be honest, it came as a shock,” Keegan said.

“The majority of the families that were there were happy. We finally have a date.

Keegan added that the first step of the inquests would see pen portraits read out by families of the 48 people who were killed in the nightclub fire.

“It will be tough for them… For the first time in 42 years, they will put a human side to the victims.

“They will have their dignity back.”

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