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Stardust families mark tragic 30th anniversary

"SLAUGHTER, that's what it was. That place is basically a graveyard."

Paul King echoed the sentiments of many who gathered in Artane, north Dublin, last night to mark the 30th anniversary of the Stardust nightclub fire.

The families of those who died believe many questions remain unanswered about the blaze that claimed 48 men and women in the early hours of St Valentine's Day 1981.

Christine Keegan, who lost two of her daughters, said remembering the fire wasn't easy. "It's getting worse all the time; you don't forget what you lost," she said at the memorial service last night where candles were lit outside the building the Stardust once occupied.

"It never leaves you, the way they died, they went out and they never came back. But so long as I have life in my body, I'll continue the campaign and I'll get justice," she added.

An inquiry chaired by Mr Justice Ronan Keane in November 1981 found that arson was the most probable cause of the blaze, something survivors disputed.

A campaign led the Government to change the public record two years ago to state that there was no evidence the fire was started deliberately.

The Stardust Victims' Committee is hoping to present its case for a fresh investigation before the European Court of Justice later this year.

Irish Independent