Funds needed to take Stardust fight to court

FAMILIES who lost loved ones in the Stardust disaster are stepping up efforts to raise funds to take their fight for a fresh examination of the tragedy to the courts.

Despite the publicity generated for their campaign by the 25th anniversary of the fire, the Stardust Victims Committee said they had just over €8,000 in donations to their legal challenge fund.

They estimate they will need tens of thousands of euro to go to the High Court to seek an order for the reopening of the inquests into the deaths of the 48 people lost in the blaze.

They believe fresh inquests would allow them present evidence they say was omitted, misunderstood or disregarded at the original inquests and Tribunal of Inquiry, and would force the Government’s hand on setting up a full new inquiry.

The families yesterday asked to postpone a meeting with the Taoiseach and Justice Minister, proposed for tomorrow, after waiting over two years for an appointment.

Antoinette Keegan, a spokeswoman for the Stardust Victims Committee, said they had asked for the meeting to be put off as they had paperwork they wanted to present that wasn’t ready.

The Committee, which formed shortly after the 1981 Valentine’s Day fire at the Stardust disco in Artane, Dublin, rejected the original Tribunal’s finding that the blaze was arson and that it started in a seating area.

They say flaws in the investigation and compilation of information for the Tribunal meant obvious indications that the fire started in the roof space were overlooked.

The first in a series of fundraisers, a live music event, is being planned for next month in Dublin and the families are asking that businesses consider sponsoring a table in the name of a Stardust victim.

Anyone interested in sponsorship can contact Carol Barrett on 087-6625492. Donations can be made to the Ulster Bank in Coolock, account number 74371027, sort code 98-50-15 or the AIB in Raheny, account number 21334030, sort code 93-23-45.

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