Stardust families to hear if new inquiry to be held

Relatives of those who died in the 1981 Stardust tragedy will be told today if their long fight for a fresh State investigation has been successful.

Government sources confirmed last night that a report into whether a new inquiry is needed will be signed off on by ministers in a last-minute addition to the cabinet agenda, before being immediately handed to the families involved.

The report by Judge Pat McCartan has examined calls for a second inquiry based on disputed claims that there is new information to warrant a fresh investigation into what happened.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and Disabilities Minister Finian McGrath, who represents the constituency where the Stardust tragedy took place, would last night not confirm the report’s planned release. However, the families and a number of Government officials said the report would be released today after cabinet.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner last night Antoinette Keegan, whose two sisters died in the fire and who herself suffered serious injuries, said “it could be a very big day for us or another long day”.

Transport Minister Shane Ross wil update on the ongoing Iarnród Éireann rail strike and discussion over the Gate Theatre allegations. Education Minister Richard Bruton will bring an update on the technological university plans. Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy will ask the cabinet not to oppose a Sinn Féin housing bill as reforms are already taking place.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe will bring a memo formalising the Lansdowne Road deal, which will cost €887m between 2018 and 2020 and see the pension levy switched to a €546m revenue-collecting “additional superannuation contribution”.

Electoral boundary constituency reforms highlighted in yesterday’s Irish Examiner will also be discussed, while Agriculture Minister Michael Creed will outline Brexit-influenced Asian export reform plans.

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