Tag Archives: Stardust


Artane , Dublin 5.

Family members of some of the 48 people killed in the Valentine’s Day disco fire, attending the 41st Anniversary event at the site of the tragedy. Broadcaster Charlie Bird (pic 3) spoke at the memorial and was joined by Antoinette Keegan (above left), who lost two sisters in the fire.

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Above from left: Lorraine Keegan, Martina Hand, Antoinette Keegan and Pauline Braymer. in the frames are Martina Keegan (16) and Mary Keegan (19) who died in the Stardust Fire

This afternoon.

RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

family members of Stardust fire victims outside the eleventh pre-inquest hearing into the fire that killed 48 people at an Artane disco in the early hours of February 14, 1981. The location for the inquest itself has been set at the Rotunda Hospital.

Previously: Constant Delay

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

This morning.

Department of Justice, Dublin 2.

Antoinette Keegan (above) and supporters urge urgency in the staging of a new inquest into the 1981 fire that killed 48 people.

The lease on a ‘bespoke courtroom’ in the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, to hold the inquests, expires in February, with Ms Keegan statingL

“Money is being wasted on an empty venue and not one inquest has been heard”

Pictured in the frames are Martina Keegan (16) and Mary Keegan (19 who died in the Stardust Fire.

Stardust families blast department over delayed inquests (Irish Examiner)

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

This afternoon.

Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Maurice and Phyllis McHugh who lost their only child, Caroline, in the 1981 Stardust disaster protest outside the Dail.

They joined other families calling on the Department of Justice to grant legal aid for inquests into the deaths of their relatives.

Via RTE News:

The matter was raised in the Seanad by Sinn Féin Senator Lynn Boylan who said the legal aid route was not suitable and families should not be means tested as it was causing “huge hurt” and risks sewing division between families.

In response, Minister of State for Public Health Frank Feighan told the Seanad that some families exceed the income limits enforced by the legal aid board….

Call for Stardust families to be granted legal aid for inquests (RTÉ)


From top: Antoinette Keegan, who lost her sisters Mary and Martina in the Stardust fire; unknown; Mark and Carole Barrett, whose brother Michael died in the Stardust fire; Siobhan Dunne, who lost her brother Liam; Damien Keegan, Antoinette’s brother; Phyllis and Maurice with a photo of their only child Caroline, who died that night; the Keegans: Suzanne, Lorraine, Antoinette and Damien.


The Stardust Memorial Garden in Coolock, Dublin

Families of victims marked the the 40th anniversary of Dublin’s Stardust fire disaster.

48 people died and 214 were injured in the Artane nightclub fire, which broke out on Valentine’s night in 1981. More than 800 people attended the disco and despite two inquiries into the disaster, nobody has ever been held responsible. A fresh inquiry into the events of that night will take place later this year, following a lengthy campaign by families.

All pics by Karen Morgan

Last week: We Are Stardust

The coffins of four young people who died in the fire in the Stardust disco on the morning of St. Valentine’s Day, 1981, leave the church the Church of St Luke the Evangelist in Kilmore on Dublin’s northside on February 18, 1981

This Sunday marks the 40th Anniversary of the Stardust Fire in which 48 young people lost their lives.

Via Aoife Moore in the Irish Examiner [full article at link below]:

…The inability of the State to look at those it has failed in the eye until they have dragged out every humiliating second of their own procrastination is one of the most profoundly repulsive and familiar things we have come to expect about official Ireland.

The Stardust families will get their apology too, eventually. Some Taoiseach will stand in the Dáil chamber and somberly say that we had failed them.

That we should not have forced them, for 40 years, to march on Merrion Street and bang on doors and fill out postcards, that we should have listened in the days after the fire, to the witnesses, the fire service, the survivors, and their parents. We were wrong and we’ll probably be sorry.

The collective “we”, which did so much legwork when “we” apologised for the mother and baby homes, will be ushered back on to the Dáil floor once again when “we” eventually apologise to these families who were so traumatised by the worst atrocity in the history of the State.

The reality of Ireland in the case of the mother and baby homes, the Magdalenes, the industrial schools, and the Stardust fire is — there is no “we”.

There is no “we” when it comes to the State, because not everyone in this State is considered equal.

The families of those who died in the Stardust fire are confident that had they come from a different part of Dublin, justice would have been forthcoming a long time ago, and who can blame them?

Those who don’t matter don’t deserve answers, and those without power don’t receive them.

Ireland has always been kindest to those whose background demands respect.

If you don’t want to take my word for it, ask someone in direct provision, or read about how young women with money and affluent backgrounds were treated in the mother and baby homes in comparison to those who were destitute.

For the Stardust families, the difference between Bonnybook and Donnybrook is a matter of kilometres and a huge leap in regards to respect.

Aoife Moore: ‘We’ are not the ones who failed Stardust families (Irish Examiner)

Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

Now that all those responsible are not with us anymore.

This afternoon.

Dublin Coroner’s Court.

Relatives of those killed and injured in the Stardust Fire gather ahead of a preliminary hearing ahead of a new inquest that could answer their questions about how and why the tragedy happened.

Forty-eight people died and more than 200 were injured when a fire broke out in the Stardust nightclub in Artane on St Valentine’s night in 1981.

From top: Gertrude Barrett, whose 17-year-old son Michael died in the blaze;  Suzanne Keegan, Lorraine and Antoinette Keegan whose sisters Mary (19) and Martina (16) also died in the Stardust; Solicitor Darragh Mackin and a group shot of relatives of those killed and injured.

Pics Karen Morgan

Previously: A Fresh Inquest

Christine Keegan

In this 2014 photo (top), Christine Keegan is outside Leinster House after a meeting  between Stardust relatives and then Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore.

She holds a picture of the daughters she lost on February 14, 1981, Martina (left) and Mary, along with images showing the fire at the Stardust coming through the roof 10 minutes before the Fire Brigade were called.

Aoife Grace Moore adds:

There are very few remaining parents left of the 49 young people who died in the fire. A new inquest has been granted but stalled due to COVID19. Families are calling for the inquest to be expedited ASAP.

Previously: A Fresh Inquest


Last night.

Artane, Dublin 5.

A cadndle-lit vigil for the victims of the Stardust fire – featuring addresses from Eamon Dunphy and Charlie Bird and an unveiling of a plaque at the site of club to remember the 48 people who died in the early hours of Valentine’s Day, 1981.

Last September, Attorney General Séamus Woulfe announced  that a fresh inquest will be held into the deaths.

Previously: A Fresh Inquest

Sam Boal /RollingNews


This morning.

Buswell’s Hotel, Dublin  2

Antoinette Keegan (above centre) and her mother Christine (above left) and Eugene Kelly (above right) holding pictures of Antoinette’s sisters who perished in the fire, Martina (16) and Mary (19)  following a special meeting of the campaign group Justice For Stardust attended by Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan (top right).

The Attorney General yesterday evening confirmed that new inquests will be held for the 48 victims of the 1981 Stardust fire. It follows a request last April from the families of the victims.

More to follow.

Leah Farrell/RollingNews