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18th Apr 2024

Stardust inquest reaches verdict of unlawful killing in case of all 48 deaths



The verdict was reached after 11 days of deliberation.

The jury in the Stardust inquests reached a verdict of unlawful killing in the case of all 48 deaths on the afternoon of Thursday, April 18th, giving the families of the deceased closure after 43 years. 

It was confirmed on Wednesday that the jury had reached its verdict, after a deliberation of 11 days, and family members assembled in the Pillar Room at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin just before the announcement.

The jury was able to identify the cause of the fire as an electrical fault in a hot press, but could not determine when the fire started.

The jury said that the foam in the seating, the carpet tiles on the walls and the height of the ceiling in the west alcove contributed to the spread of the fire. However, the condition of the fire extinguishers was not a factor.

The jury has found that some of the exits were either locked, chained or otherwise obstructed, which prevented the victims from escaping the fire.

Stardust inquest reaches verdict of unlawful killing in case of all 48 deaths

The verdict comes 43 years after a fire broke out at the Stardust nightclub in Artane on February 14, 1981. 48 people died.

95 days of direct evidence was heard by the jury from 373 witness, since the inquest began in April 2023, the longest in Irish history.

When recalled by Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane yesterday, the jury, made up of seven women and five men, said that they could not return a unanimous verdict.

However the foreman for the jury said that they had instead come to a majority decision.