Irish Daily Star


- ■■Aodhan O FAOLAIN

That probe was chaired by Mr Justice Ronan Keane, later Chief Justice of Ireland.

His report ruled that the most likely cause of the fire was arson and that someone had set fire to a chair close to the dancing area. That was despite witnesses giving evidence that the fire had actually come down to the floor from the ceiling area.

That report would normally have been the end of the matter, were it not for the family and friends of those who died. They spent decades campaignin­g for a new inquiry.

In 2009 an independen­t report was commission­ed which said that the cause of the fire could not be attributed to arson. In 2018 the government announced there would be fresh inquests held.

In the 43 years since the tragedy, the word Stardust became ingrained in Irish history.

Those who were alive when it happened will never forget the sense of shock and sadness that engulfed the whole country.

It was so infamous that even people born years after it happened are aware of the tragedy – and the impact it had on the country.

The simple word Stardust immediatel­y brings to mind a disaster that the people of Ireland will never forget.

THE former manager of the Stardust nightclub, Eamon Butterly, mounted a High Court bid to bring a legal challenge which could have delayed the inquest’s verdicts, it has emerged.

Just before Easter weekend, Mr Butterly sought permission to bring judicial review proceeding­s challengin­g decisions made by the coroner to allow the jury return a verdict of ‘unlawful killing’.

The applicatio­n came before Mr Justice Tony O’Connor, who in a judgement refused Mr Butterly’s applicatio­n for both leave to bring the challenge and for the inquest be put on hold pending the outcome of the challenge.

The applicatio­n was made shortly before Coroner Myra Cullinane had commenced her charge to the jury.

Among Mr Butterly’s arguments were that the coroner had erred in March 2024 allowing the jury return a verdict of unlawful killing where there is a limited number of connected people associated with such a verdict according to the evidence adduced.

Mr Butterly’s lawyers argued that such a verdict would be highly prejudicia­l and would damage his reputation as it was feared that blame could be attributed to him.

It was submitted that it is not lawfully open for a jury to attribute blame to any individual or individual­s.

Lawyers for 47 of the 48 victims of the tragedy opposed the applicatio­n.

 ?? ?? DEADLY BLAZE: Stardust memorial in Artane and (below) the aftermath of fire which killed 48
DEADLY BLAZE: Stardust memorial in Artane and (below) the aftermath of fire which killed 48
 ?? ?? COURT: Butterly
COURT: Butterly
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