Report into Stardust fire evidence finds 'no new inquiry is warranted'

It comes after the Government agreed to a new review of evidence earlier this year

Report into Stardust fire evidence finds 'no new inquiry is warranted'

File photo. The interior of the Stardust which went on fire on the morning of the 14/2/1981, St. Valentines Day. Photo: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

A prominent campaigner for the Stardust families has spoken of her heartbreak after an independent report into the tragedy found that 'no further new inquiry is warranted' into the tragedy.

The blaze at the Dublin nightclub in 1981 took the lives of 48 people, and relatives of the victims have long called for a fresh public inquiry. 

The Government earlier this year agreed to order a new review of the evidence surrounding the fire.

The report by Judge Pat McCartan, however, has now concluded that a new commission of investigation is not needed.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan discussed the report with Cabinet members earlier today.

In a statement, Minister Flanagan said: “The Stardust Fire was undoubtedly one of the greatest tragedies in the history of this country and the Government considered it important to assess all available evidence, including any new material that may have come to light.

"Having carefully considered the two previous independent reports on the tragedy and considered all material made available to him, Judge McCartan concluded that no further new inquiry is warranted."

Gutted

Antoinette Keegan, who was in the nightclub on the night and lost two sisters in the blaze, said emergency calls that say the fire started in the roof have been ignored once again:

"As a witness that was there that night, I remember that fire was still a small little fire and bouncers trying to put it out when the whole ceiling came crashing down on top of us," she said.

"That is how I know.

"I am gutted, I really am. I can't believe it.

Expert opinions

Judge McCartan was chosen by the families as the man to examine fresh evidence they had uncovered relating to the tragedy - however Ms Keegan took aim at his handling of the review:

"We asked for forensic pathologist to be brought in and he said he didn't need one," she said.

"We asked for a fire expert to be brought in so he could understand the report - and he said he didn't need one.

"He is a retired judge, he is not a forensic pathologist, he is not an electrical engineer and he is not an expert in any of the fire dynamics."

Terrible pain and loss

In his statement this afternoon, Minister Flanagan acknowledged the "terrible pain and loss of the relatives of the victims", and noted that the report does not "come to the conclusion that they would have wished for."

He added: "This report by Judge McCartan is the third independent assessment of the available evidence and, while I understand that the pain of the relatives is compounded by the failure to discover the cause of the fire, this report concludes that no new inquiry is warranted."

The report is due to be published once it has been presented to the Houses of the Oireachtas.