Monday 23 September 2019

Stardust survivor recalls night of horror as calls for fresh inquest mount

Memory: Jimmy Fitzpatrick with a candle for best friend Liam Dunne, who didn’t survive.
Photo: Gerry Mooney
Memory: Jimmy Fitzpatrick with a candle for best friend Liam Dunne, who didn’t survive. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

"Before we knew it, all hell broke loose."

Jimmy Fitzpatrick was just 17 when he was caught up in the Stardust tragedy.

His six friends were among the 48 young people who lost their lives when a fire ripped through the Artane nightclub on Valentine's Day 1981. "We were dancing but before we knew it, all hell broke loose," he said.

In the panic to escape, he tripped and fell where he was trampled by the fleeing crowd. He managed to get back to his feet and made his way to a back door.

"The door was chained. A number of us were kicking at it to get it open. Just by the grace of God I got out," he recalled.

Jimmy spent months in hospital. Yesterday he joined victims' families and supporters - including singer Christy Moore - in calling on Attorney General Séamus Woulfe to order a new inquest into the tragedy. They delivered 48,000 signatures backing their appeal to his office.

A spokesperson for the Government said: "The Office of the Attorney general has indicated to the solicitors acting for the Stardust relatives and victims committees its intention to communicate with the solicitors rather than directly with the authors of the postcards."

Irish Independent

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