Deaths of 48 people in 1981 Irish nightclub fire were unlawful killing, jury rules

The deaths of 48 people in the worst fire in the history of Ireland have been ruled by a jury as unlawful killings.
A jury at Dublin District Coroner’s Court delivered majority verdicts on the victims of the 1981 Stardust nightclub fire in the city on Thursday.

The venue in Artane, north Dublin, was packed with around 800 people when the fire broke out in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.

Image: The Stardust fire took place in Dublin in the early hours of 14 February 1981. Pic: PA
More than 200 people were injured in the disaster.
Fresh inquests into the deaths, the longest held in Ireland, were ordered by the country’s attorney general in 2019, but only began last year.

Image: Samantha’s mother Helena was killed in the fire
A jury, made up of seven women and five men, delivered the verdict on Thursday after 11 days of deliberation.
A day earlier, the foreman told coroner Myra Cullinane they had been unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

More on Dublin

Related Topics:

Ms Cullinane said she would accept a simple majority of seven and allowed the jury’s deliberations to continue.

Image: Family members of victims of the Stardust tragedy along with supporters arriving at the Rotunda Foundation in Dublin for the 15th pre-inquest hearing in 2022. Pic: PA


Image: Pat Dunne’s brother died in the tragedy
A tribunal of inquiry set up soon after the fire found arson was the “probable” cause, something the families rejected as it appeared to blame those attending the disco and absolved the club’s owners, despite evidence that emergency exits were often padlocked and chained.
They were themselves awarded IR£581,000 compensation by a Dublin court in 1983.
But victims’ relatives kept pushing for a new investigation and, eventually, new inquests were announced, only for legal arguments and wrangling over juror pay to delay proceedings by a further four years.

Image: Relatives of those killed in the Stardust fire at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin ahead of the first day of the inquest. File pic
This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.
Please refresh the page for the fullest version.
You can receive breaking news alerts on a smartphone or tablet via the Sky News app. You can also follow @SkyNews on X or subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with the latest news.

Source : Sky News