Belfast Telegraph

Families of Stardust fire victims campaign for fresh inquest

Officials originally ruled that the cause of the fire was arson, a theory that was never accepted by the families.

The families of those who died in the Stardust fire have been campaigning around the country for a fresh inquest into the deaths.

Forty eight young people died in the popular nightclub in Artane, Dublin, on February 14 1981.

It remains the worst fire disaster in the history of the state.

Families and supporters manned stalls in Dublin and Wexford on Saturday asking for signatures on postcards calling for a fresh inquest into the deaths.

The postcards will be presented to the Attorney General.

The campaign group have set a target of 48,000 signatures, 1,000 for every victim who died in the tragedy.

Antoinette Keegan, who survived the fire but lost her two sisters, Mary, 19, and Martina, 16, said the families would never give up campaigning.

“We had great support today in Finglas, not one person walked past without signing, people had driven out of the way to come and sign a postcard.

“It’s absolutely fantastic, the support has been great.

“We’ll be travelling to Belfast and Derry soon to campaign there too.

“We’re at around 32,000 signatures now, we haven’t got long to go.

“We’ll be at the festival in Lucan next week and we’re expecting a big bump from that too.

“If the Attorney General doesn’t do anything, or won’t do anything, we have an application ready to go in for a new inquest under the Coroners Act, and the law has to be applied.

“Either way, we’re not going anywhere, we’re going to carry on, we’ll never stop.”

Officials originally ruled that the cause of the fire was arson, a theory that was never accepted by the families.

It was later ruled out following a fresh inquiry in 2009.

Investigations into the fire showed that a number of escape routes from the dance hall were blocked as emergency doors were locked by chains.

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