Tag Archives: Stardust

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

The Stardust, Artane, Dublin on the morning of February 14, 1981

This evening.

Attorney General Séamus Woulfe has today confirmed that a fresh inquest will be held into the 48 deaths at the Stardust fire, Artane on 14 February 1981.

The families through their lawyers Phoenix Law made a formal application for a fresh investigation.

Darragh Mackin, of Phoenix Law, said:

“The Attorney General has today confirmed that our clients’ application for a fresh inquest has been successful.

The families of the Stardust victims will hold a press conference tomorrow morning at 11am in Buswells Hotel.

The families are delighted with today’s decision, however would ask that their privacy is respected tonight.”

More as we get it.

Previously: ‘No Such Request Has been Recieved

Stardust Artane on Broadsheet

Pic: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

This afternoon.

During Leaders’ Questions.

In the Dáil.

In reply to a question from Independent TD Tommy Broughan about this morning’s protest and collective call for inquests into those who died in the fire at the Stardust nightclub in Artane, Dublin on Valentine’s Day, 1981, to be reopened…

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said KRW Law solicitors, acting for the Stardust relatives and victims, wrote to the Attorney General on April 12, saying that they were putting the AG on notice of their intention to make a formal request of him to grant new inquests, within a matter of weeks.

Mr Varadkar said the AG had acknowledged this letter but that, to date, KRW Law has yet to make the formal inquest.

He also claimed the AG office twice wrote to KRW Law, in July and this month, noting that the AG awaited the formal request.

Mr Varadkar added:

Once it is received, and I did speak to the Attorney General this morning, he will give it full consideration and will look at it afresh with an open mind.


Earlier: Bringing The Truth Home

The Stardust, Artane, Dublin 5 on February 15, 1981

At 6.30pm.

A vigil will be held  at the site of the Stardust nightclub, Artane, Dublin  5.

Today is the 37th Anniversary of the Stardust Disaster.

Forty eight people died in a fire at the club on Valentine’s night, 1981

Ciara O’Connor writes:

Those who attended the Stardust that night have been branded as responsible for what happened while those responsible have been protected by those in political circles ever since.

This is Ireland`s Hillsborough disaster and it is time for the communities of Dublin North East to come together to remember those who never came home and call for an independent inquiry to clear the names of all who attended the Stardust

Have they been forgotten?

Please give the victims and families 1 hour to show that the local communities have not forgotten these young people needlessly killed & injured.

Stardust Vigil (Facebook)

Pic: Eamonn Farrell


This afternoon.

Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2

A candle lighting ceremony in memory of the 48 victims of the Stardust tragedy in 1981

Above from left: Gertrude Barrett who lost her son Michael (17), Eugene Kelly who lost his brother Robert Kelly, Antoinette Keegan, with her mother Christine at . Antoinette survived the fire, but lost both of her sisters, Martina (16) and Mary (19).

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

startdust 413_90500957

This morning.

Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Families affected by the 1981 Stardust tragedy prepare to meet Minister of State Finian McGrath on the Government’s response to a private members motion, which calls for a commission of investigation to be set up into the  fire.

Forty eight people died at the Stardust nightclub in Artane in north Dublin on Valentine’s night 1981. The families say they have significant new evidence into the cause of the fire. Some Fine Gael cabinet members want this evidence independently verified before agreeing to a statutory inquiry and complain about the cost of an inquiry.

Top from left: Maurice Frazer who lost his sister Thelma (20), Antoinette with her mother Christine Keegan with a picture of Martina and Mary who died in the Stardust, Eugene Kelly who lost his brother Robert Kelly (17) , Patricia Kennedy who lost her daughter Mary (Maire) (17) , Louise and her mother Bridget who lost William (22), Marcela (16) and George (18).

‘We just want the truth’: Stardust families seek inquiry (Irish Times)


“Had this happened back in September it would have been different,” said one Fine Gael minister. “We recognise Finian’s difficulty and we don’t object to an inquiry in principle. But we can’t have an inquiry just for the sake of it, given how much it would cost.


Finian McGrath ‘not for turning’ on Stardust (Irish Examiner)