Stardust relatives say inquest brings back bad memories

The heartbroken families of 48 young people who perished in a nightclub fire tonight said the first day of an independent hearing in to the blaze brought back a lot of bad memories.

The heartbroken families of 48 young people who perished in a nightclub fire tonight said the first day of an independent hearing in to the blaze brought back a lot of bad memories.

Antoinette Keegan, whose sisters Mary and Martina were killed in the Stardust disaster, revealed it had been an emotional day for parents and siblings.

Ms Keegan, of the Stardust Victims Committee, said pictures of the scene after the killer inferno were shown at the private hearing in Dublin.

“It was a very upsetting day,” she said. “It brought back a lot of bad memories about that happened on that terrible night. I was in a daze for most of it. It was the first time in 27 years that we have been in a court room and I couldn’t believe it was actually happening.

“It was quite an emotional day for everyone.”

The independent hearing will recommend if the Government should reopen a public tribunal in to the killer fire in the north Dublin nightspot in the early hours of February 14 1981.

Over the coming weeks leading pathology and forensic experts will outline their beliefs before senior counsel Paul Coffey.

An inquiry established by the Government after the tragedy ruled that the cause of the inferno was probable arson, but grieving families battled for almost three decades to have the evidence re-examined.

They believe the cause of and rapid spread of the fire was overlooked at the original tribunal.

Independent TD Finian McGrath, who has campaigned for a new inquiry, welcomed the start of the hearing.

He wished the families the best of luck in their quest for truth and justice and commended their "determination and guts" over the last 20 years.

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