Taoiseach: State Failed Stardust Victims

The Taoiseach will make an official State apology today to the families of the victims of the Stardu...
Caoimhseach Connolly
Caoimhseach Connolly

9:56 AM - 23 Apr 2024

Taoiseach: State Failed Stardu...


Taoiseach: State Failed Stardust Victims

Caoimhseach Connolly
Caoimhseach Connolly

9:56 AM - 23 Apr 2024

The Taoiseach will make an official State apology today to the families of the victims of the Stardust fire.

Simon Harris met with family members  Saturday, when he promised an apology into the State's handling of the nightclub fire in north Dublin.

48 young people died in fire at the Stardust nightclub in Artane, in the early hours of Valentine's Day in February 1981.

Many family members will watch from the Dáil's public gallery, as the apology is read out just after 2 o'clock this afternoon.

Speaking ahead of the apology, Taoiseach Simon Harris, says the State had contributed to the families' suffering.

"The State failed these families, and the impact of that failure has been devastating for families.

"It has heaped pain and misery on top of tragedy, and I want to try and capture that today.

"I also want to discuss with cabinet colleagues today, and most importantly then with the families, how we can properly commemorate the Stardust tragedy".



Supporters and family members of the 48 people killed gather in Dublin's Garden of Remembrance after the verdict of unlawful killing from the Stardust Inquest, 18-4-24. Image: Sasko Lazarov / ©

Antoinette Keegan, who survived the fire but lost two sisters, says her life has been taken over by the disaster.

" I hope the Taoiseach has addressed this because it was brought to his attention on Saturday at the way we were abandoned by the State, and insulted.

"My mother was told several things at meetings, like, you're only here because you lost children, go home and get over it.

"Things like that was very, very hurtful".

Maurice Frazer, whose sister Thelma was among those killed, said it’s been a long and difficult battle waiting for the truth.

“For 43 long years we’ve been relentless in our quest for justice for our dear sister Thelma, her boyfriend Michael and 46 others.

“We tirelessly battled against the barriers and the closed doors of Ireland's political and justice systems.”

The Department of the Taoiseach will prepare proposals to appropriately commemorate the disaster as requested by, and in consultation with, the families of those killed in the fire.

Last week, the inquests into the deaths of the 48 victims returned a verdict of 'unlawful killing'.

The jury in hearings at the Dublin Coroner's Court, found the fire started in the hot press in the dispense bar and was due to an electrical fault. 

At today's meeting of Cabinet ministers, the Taoiseach will also note that the Government accepts the verdict and recommendations of the inquests, and will ask the Minister for Justice and other relevant ministers to report back on their implementation.

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Stardust Fire Stardust Fire Inquests State Apology Stardust Fire

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