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Sunday 25 June 2017

Stardust victims' families pull cooperation with Government over failure to open new inquiry

The interior of the Stardust which went on fire on the morning of the St. Valentines Day 1981, killing 45 young people. Photo Independent Newspapers
The interior of the Stardust which went on fire on the morning of the St. Valentines Day 1981, killing 45 young people. Photo Independent Newspapers
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

The Stardust Victims' Committee is pulling out of cooperation with the Government over the failure to open a new inquiry into the 1981 tragedy.

Families of the 48 victims of the Stardust nightclub fire have been pushing for a new inquiry and campaigning over the last 35 years.

For the past two years they have been working with Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald's department, trying to uncover new evidence to form the basis of a fresh inquiry.

But at press conference today at Dublin's Skylon Hotel, the committee said they had received a letter from the minister on November 30.

The letter said the committee should provide "the full range of materials and associated commentary" to deal with two previous reports into the tragedy, which they claim are flawed.

But the committee said it has already provided the minister with a body of evidence and announced it was now pulling out in frustration at the minister's response.

"Over the past two an a half years, there has been nothing productive (on the part of the department)," the committee's legal adviser, Paul O'Sullivan, said.

Antoinette Keegan, a survivor of the fire who lost her sisters Mary (19) and Martina (16), and Eddie Kennedy, who lost Marie (17), were among those who attended the meeting.

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