A pre-inquest hearing into the deaths of 48 people in the Stardust disaster was hailed, on Wednesday, as a “momentous step in the families’ path to justice” by Darragh Mackin, solicitor for the families of 44 of the victims.
That those families have had to wait almost 40 years to establish the truth about the death of their loved ones in a fire in a Dublin nightclub on Valentine’s Day in 1981 is unconscionable.
At least now, they will be recalled as people rather than numbers or statistics as happened in previous inconclusive enquires. The names of all 48 victims were read into the record at the Dublin Coroner’s Court as those attending stood, in unison, for a minute’s silence.
‘Pen portraits’ of each one will be presented to the inquest when it opens at Dublin Castle next year. The system, used in the Grenfell Tower fire enquiry, puts real people and the lasting pain inflicted on their families, at the centre of the inquest. That is an essential part of the process if those responsible are to be held to account.