Saturday 24 March 2018

Stardust orphan calls for an end to campaign

Lisa Lawlor lost both parents (Damien Eagers)
Lisa Lawlor lost both parents (Damien Eagers)
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A woman who was orphaned by the Stardust fire in 1981 has called for an end to the campaign for another inquiry into the tragedy.

Lisa Lawlor (36) was just 17 months old when her parents, Maureen and Francis, lost their lives in the tragic fire when they were both aged just 24.

The mum-of-three said she will always be heartbroken about the untimely loss of her parents but she would rather see the anniversary of their deaths marked by a celebration of those who lost their lives.

"We should be celebrating these people instead of this constant fighting. It's not going to go anywhere and it's been so long [since the fire]," she told the Irish Independent.

"I think at this stage they should be let rest in peace.

"I think we should celebrate the 48 lovely souls who were taken. I just don't think it should be pushed any further."

She wears her father's wedding ring every day and says that she grew up hearing stories about her mum and dad.

Some relatives of those who passed away in the fire in the northside Dublin nightclub in 1981 in the early hours of Valentine's Day, want to see a second inquiry into the blaze.

However, Ms Lawlor believes she will learn nothing new and the ongoing coverage of the campaign leaves her distressed and anxious. "It's been tough to live in the shadow of this for so long.

"I just think we should call time on the campaign," she said.

"At this stage, they should rest in peace, God help them.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's over. If I thought all of the fighting would get me somewhere or that my parents would be brought back then, yeah, of course I would, but that's not going to happen."

She believes the State cannot be held responsible for what occurred and that the fire has resulted in better safety standards for everyone.

"My children and I are safer in this world because of what happened. They didn't die in vain," she said. Ms Lawlor, who now lives in Drumcondra, was raised be her paternal grandparents following the fire.

"They were lovely, they supported me so much but there was always a deep sadness around them," Ms Lawlor said.

Irish Independent

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