Northern Ireland

Stardust fire: Fresh inquest to be held into deaths

A picture of the burnt out windows of the Stardust nightclub
Image caption Forty-eight people died in the fire in Dublin on St Valentine's Day

A fresh inquest is to be held into the deaths of 48 people in the Stardust nightclub fire in Dublin.

The Republic's Attorney General confirmed on Wednesday that the application for a new inquest had been successful.

The application was made by victims' families in April after years of campaigning over the fire in Artane.

Three of those who died in the St Valentine's Day blaze in 1981 were from Northern Ireland.

They were Susan Morgan from Londonderry and James Millar and Robert Hillock from Twinbrook, in west Belfast.

A lawyer for the Stardust Truth and Justice Committee, which represents the families of the victims, said the relatives were delighted with the decision.

More than 800 people were at the disco when the fire took hold and the average age of those killed was 19.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The remains of the Stardust nightclub after the fire in 1981

A tribunal, chaired by Justice Ronan Keane, was held in the year following the fire.

He concluded the cause was "probably arson", which was contested by victims' families.

In 2009, an independent examination into the tribunal reported there was no evidence to support Justice Keane's finding that the fire was started deliberately near the ballroom of the nightclub.

In 2017, the families of the victims rejected the report of retired Judge Pat McCartan, which found no new inquiry into the deadly fire was warranted.

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