#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: 17°C Sunday 1 August 2021

Introducing Stardust: A new podcast from TheJournal.ie

TheJournal.ie is launching a major six-part series on the 1981 Stardust fire.


“I mean, it is the worst scandal that remains unresolved. I mean there are things like the Kerry babies scandal, there’s the abuse of people by the state [which] continues, the Hep C scandal, now we have cervical check and there’s the abuse of victims there. The denial of responsibility and culpability, and the Stardust is emblematic really of how ruthless and cruel the Irish state is and how it remains as ruthless and cruel as it’s always been.” – Eamon Dunphy

ALMOST 40 YEARS on from the Stardust fire, survivors and families of the victims have finally gotten a step closer to getting the answers they seek about what happened to them and their loved ones that night.

In the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 1981, a fire tore through the nightclub just after the conclusion of a disco dancing competition that had attracted crowds from all around the north Dublin community and beyond.

In all, 48 people were killed. Over 200 were wounded.

The government promised a swift reaction and an inquiry to establish what caused this awful tragedy.

That inquiry wouldn’t provide the answers sought. The people there that night were labelled arsonists – first in the press and then on official record with a finding of “probable arson”.

Four decades on, there is still a lot we don’t know about Stardust, the worst fire disaster in the history of the State. The families have now been thrown a lifeline, with the Attorney General recently agreeing to new inquests for the victims of the fire.

Over the course of six episodes in a special podcast series by TheJournal.ie, we will take you through the story from the start to the current day.

You’ll learn about how doors were chained shut, fire exits blocked, a flawed investigation process, a near total lack of support for survivors and a perception of bias against their working class background.

You’ll hear how a community was told one of their own had caused the fire that killed their loved ones and how the flawed standards in fire safety prompted a complete step change in Ireland.

You’ll hear from survivors, from first responders, from journalists, all of whom still have not forgotten what happened that night. You’ll hear from the families, who desperately want closure and justice over 38 years after their children went to a disco and never came home.

Four episodes of of Stardust is available now – listen below, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Source: Stardust/SoundCloud

Source: Stardust/SoundCloud

Source: Stardust/SoundCloud

Source: Stardust/SoundCloud

Source: Stardust/SoundCloud

#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

Source: Stardust/SoundCloud

Search for Stardust or TheJournal.ie on your favourite podcast app. Can’t find it? Email nicky@thejournal.ie.

Stardust is presented by Sean Murray, produced by Nicky Ryan with executive producer Christine Bohan. Image in cover art by PA Images.


About the author:

Sean Murray & Nicky Ryan

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel