New assessment of Stardust fire concludes no inquiry warranted

A third assessment of evidence surrounding the Stardust nightclub fire in Artane on Valentine's Day 1981 has concluded that no new enquiry will be warranted.

The published report conducted by Judge Pat McCartan has stated that "the cause of the fire may never be known".

The principle findings of McCartan's assessment also state:

- The second version of the Coffey Report did not "water down" the findings contained in the first version.

- The Assessment drew up a list of 17 issues that need to be examined.

-The material submitted to the Assessment could only theorise on the cause of the fire, and as such there are no grounds for an inquiry.

- Of the 17 issues, only one could be considered as new evidence. Eye witness Brenda Kelly called the Fire Brigade at 1.43am, which if correct means the fire was in the roof space at an earlier time than found by the Keane Report. The Coffey Report also made the same conclusion.

-It is evident that the fire was in the roof at an earlier stage than stated in Keane's report. This however, fails to explain the cause and as such, it is likely that no cause can ever be established.

- Ms. Kelly's call is not of sufficient moment to warrant further inquiry.

- The Foy dossier sets out how the Keane Tribunal and Coffey Review were mislead about the venue's layout. This Assessment did not find any evidence to support the theory. No one present in the Stardust was in any doubt but that the maps produced by the Keane report were accurate, nor have any experts involved in the Keane Tribunal expressed their confusion or misunderstanding about the venue's layout.

- No other issues raised in the dossier amount to new or updated evidence.

The now retired Judge McCartan was asked by the Government on 7th March 2017 to look at evidence uncovered by the families of the victims, which could then warrant a new inquiry into the fire, which devastated the Stardust nightclub in Artane on 14th February 1981.

In total, 48 died ad 214 were injured on the night.

The families of the victims have publicly rejected Judge Pat McCartan's report.

"We are so disappointed and should never have allowed political interference in our search for justice", said Antoinette Keegan who was injured in the fire and whose two sisters died.

"This is not the end of the road for us."

In a memorandum to the Government this morning, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan stated "I believe it is important that we acknowledge the independent report of Judge McCartan. I want to thank Judge McCartan for his endeavours."


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