Verdict Of “Unlawful Killing” Is Open To Stardust Jury After High Court Ruling

Stardust Memorial

It’s hoped a long-awaited inquest into the Stardust nightclub deaths can get under way as soon as possible.

The High Court has rejected a challenge brought by the former manager of the Dublin nightclub, who had called for the court to rule out a potential unlawful killing verdict.

48 people died when a fire broke out at the Artane venue on St. Valentine’s day 1981. 128 others were injured in the Valentine’s disco.


Most of the victims were aged between 18 and 25 and came from Artane, Kilmore and the Greater Coolock area.

In 2019 new inquests were ordered into the deaths.

But they were delayed after the Stardust’s former manager Eamon Butterly brought the court challenge, arguing the verdict shouldn’t be open to the jury.

Antoinette Keegan, who lost two sisters in the blaze, has welcomed the ruling, saying it will allow fresh inquests into the deaths to now go ahead;

We’re happy now that we can actually proceed now, our legal team is going to be writing to the coroner today and they’re going to be asking for the coroner to set up a preliminary hearing for the legal team and the families to set down a date now so that we can actually with the inquest.”

Senator Lynn Boylan supported the families in their campaign for a fresh inquest into the disaster;

Its, you know, over forty years, the families have been demanding answers to what happened to their loved ones that night and the fresh inquest was granted by the former attorney general back in 2019 and it still hasn’t started yet because of a number of legal obstacles that have cropped up.”