Netizen 24 IRL: Families and survivors gather in Dublin to pay tribute to Stardust fire victims

Diposting oleh On 21.12

Families and survivors gather in Dublin to pay tribute to Stardust fire victims

Families and survivors gathered for two events in Dublin on Wednesday to pay tribute to the victims of the Stardust tragedy -one of the most shocking events in Irish history.

On Valentine's Day in 1981, 48 young people lost their lives and 128 people were left injured after a blaze ripped through the Stardust nightclub in Artane.

Today's events - a protest outside the Dail and a vigil at the Stardust site -were held to remember the victims and call for an independent commission of inquiry to gain justice for victims and their families.

A 1981 tribunal after the fire ruled that the cause of the blaze was “probably arson”, but this verdict was later struck from the record.

Many gathered this evening outside the Stardust site on the Butterly industrial estate in Artane.

Stardust Fire 1974

The photos of victims were placed outside the reception doors of the main building where many survivors managed to escape the inferno.

Candles were lit to form the number 48 and flowers were laid down to mark the sad occasion.

Musicians played heartfelt songs including an emotional rendition of Christy Moore’s ‘They never came home’ by local singer, Eddie Sherlock.

The event was particularly important for June McDermott Carroll who lost three siblings in the horror blaze - Willie, 22, George, 18 and Marcella, 16.

Speaking to Dublin Live, June explained this tremendous loss never gets easier for the families: “I’m the eldest of eight so I lost almost half my family overnight.

File photo dated 14/2/1981 of the scene of a fire at the Stardust nightclub where 48 people died

“It’s a nightmare and still is a nightmare.

“Tonight’s vigil is so important because we need th e public to get behind us and put pressure on the government to give us a proper inquiry looking at all the evidence that’s there.

“My mother’s not here tonight, she couldn’t bring herself to look at this building, she’d fall apart but it’s important to fight for justice now.

"My mother needs to know why her three children didn’t escape that building.

Families of the victims of the Stardust tragedy Antoinette Keegan & her mother Christine Keegan at Leinster House on Kildare Street, Dublin

“I don’t know if the political will is there to investigate this properly. We’ve been in and out of the Dail for 37 years hearing the same thing over and over again and we’re still no further to the truth.

“My mother’s afraid she won’t live to hear the truth come out.”

Those speaking at the event were particularly touched by the presence of members from the North Strand Fir e brigade unit.

June McDermott Carroll’s sister, Selena spoke of their father who was a firefighter at the time of the blaze but wasn’t on duty.

She said: “He knew how hard all his colleagues worked to save people that night but he couldn’t save his own and that killed him.”

Survivor of the blaze Marion Bennett O’Brien shared her story with the crowds this evening recalling the panic and terror of that fateful night.

She added: “I don’t want us to be forgotten about. I may not carry around physical scars on me but they’re all inside.”

In November 2017 Judge Pat McCartan, who was appointed by the Stardust Relatives and Victims Committee to assess the evidence, said another probe is not warranted.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan also backed these findings.

The families were left deeply disappointed and angered by this report and today pledged to continue their battle to find out how their loved ones came to such a horrific end.

Selena McDermott added: “We need to try and get justice and keep the story alive for the victims, the survivors and their parents.

“We’re tired and worn out, but we won’t stop fighting.”

Source: Google News

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