Irish Daily Star

A generation of optimists lost forever

- ■■Derek FOLEY

THE sirens that would rend the early hours of morning was the shrill blast of reality, doom and death at The Stardust.

Slag Dublin northside if you will, it was popular at the time, but their early-80s generation was aspiration­al and optimistic.

The surrounds may have been bleak, but wide-eyed and making our own way we didn’t know it.

Local band U2 had played the Stardust twice, so had Ian Dury & The Blockheads, The Specials and The Beat. Punks The Atrix had coined the key phrase “Treasure on the wasteland, living on the northside...”

But the tragedy played hard on even the most defiant as a whole section of an urban community lost its heart and soul, 48 deaths touching families, friends, colleagues.

Siobhan Kearney, victim Liam Dunne’s sister, said: “We were so big into music we used to bunch our money together to buy records. Our favourite band was Rainbow, they had the hit Since You Been Gone.

“Sometimes it might come on the radio and I’d just pull in to the side of the road and take my minute with Liam.”

Carol Barrett, the sister of victim Michael Barrett, said: “Michael’s friend Colm had the main DJ-ing gig and Michael used to be with him Fridays. Colm used to call to collect him and this particular Friday he was late.”


Ironically Michael had thought he wasn’t going to get to the gig.

Carol said: “He left and his last words were ‘If I’m not back, then you’ll know I got the lift.’”

“Michael,” continues Carol, “was so passionate about his music, he used to play all the rock chicks, Suzi Quatro, Kiki Dee, Joan Jett, Blondie. I still like to play them.”

Laura Millar, the sister of victim James Millar, said: “I was supposed to be there that night too. Didn’t sleep last night, couldn’t even think about what was going to happen. That emotion, you couldn’t bottle that to be honest.”

Lisa Lawlor, an 18-month-old baby at the time, lost both her parents, Maureen and Francis.

She said: “I don’t remember anything about my parents. I lost my future when I was 18 months old. I don’t go near the Memorial Park, I feel like it is sacred ground.”

Sacred ground — there’s a phrase. Spilt treasures on Dublin’s heartland.

 ?? ?? GRIEF: Siobhan yesterday with photo of brother Liam
GRIEF: Siobhan yesterday with photo of brother Liam
 ?? ?? MISSED: Carol with photo of Michael
MISSED: Carol with photo of Michael

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