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Stardust families

Stardust redress process could be complete 'within weeks'

Sara Moorhead SC has been appointed to engage on behalf of the State with the families’ legal representatives on redress.


LEGAL COUNSEL ON behalf of the State has been appointed to engage with legal representatives of the families of the victims of the Stardust fire regarding a proposed redress scheme. 

It is understood that the process will not be prolonged and could be complete within a matter of weeks, a government spokesperson has confirmed. 

They added that the government does not want to waste any time in terms of delivering redress to the families. 

Simon Harris updated Cabinet today on the actions taken by the government since the verdict in the Stardust inquests was delivered on 18 April. 

The jury in the inquests delivered verdicts of unlawful killing in the case of all 48 victims who died in the nightclub fire on 14 February 1981. 

It also determined that the fire started in a hot press on the premises, and that it was caused by an electrical fault.

The inquests had begun in April 2023 and were the longest ever held in Ireland. The verdict was hailed as a breakthrough by family members and others who have fought for justice for those who died, were injured, and those who survived that night.

An apology from the Taoiseach on behalf of the State followed, while Tánaiste Micheál Martin said the Government would give “very serious consideration” to a redress scheme for the families. 

Today, Harris imformed Cabinet that Sara Moorhead SC, a barrister specialising in insurance law, mediation and professional negligence, has been appointed to engage on behalf of the State with the families’ legal representatives on redress. 

Moorhead will begin engagement with the legal representatives of the families on the first phase of the redress proposal this week.

A further memorandum will be brought to Government when agreement has been reached.

It comes after a ceremony was held on Sunday to commemorate the 48 victims of the Stardust fire.

Family members of the victims laid wreaths of remembrance into the cruciform pool at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, while President Michael D Higgins placed a wreath there on behalf of the Irish people.

Family members also read extracts from the pen portraits that they wrote for the inquest into the 48 young people’s deaths. 

With reporting by Christina Finn

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