Stardust families to publish unseen pages from report

A group lobbying for a new inquiry into the Stardust fire will today publish for the first time sections of a draft report they claim supports their request.

The Stardust Victims Committee is to publish pages from an earlier version of the Coffey Report into the St Valentine’s Night tragedy which claimed the lives of 48 people in 1981.

Paul Coffey was tasked by the Government to carry out an independent examination of the committee’s case for a re-opened inquiry.

In a draft report submitted to the Government in December 2008, Mr Coffey wrote that he accepted “that a new inquiry is necessary if it is the only way of placing on the public record a finding that is based on evidence”.

However, the final version of the report, published in 2009, did not contain this statement.

When what appeared to be a material alteration to the report was raised in the Dáil last March, junior health minister Kathleen Lynch said Mr Coffey had asked to be permitted to make amendments for the purposes of correction, accuracy, and clarification prior to its publication.

But Antoinette Keegan, a spokesperson for the victims’ committee, said last night that they had asked Mr Shatter for a copy of the terms of reference he had given to Mr Coffey, but they had not received them.

Ms Keegan said they were now at the point where they were planning to report a number of officials in the Department of Justice and the Office of the Taoiseach, including Mr Shatter, to the gardaí “for conspiring to pervert the course of justice if they fail to produce a submission of evidence that contradicts the evidence put into the public domain by the Foy Report, which is nothing but the truth”.

She said those working in Government “have a duty of responsibility to validate the right to life of the 48 people who died in the Stardust ballroom by holding an effective investigation to correct the public record, as was Paul Coffey’s recommendations in his first report which is not in the public domain”.


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