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Govt to consider Stardust findings in full

The Government will consider the verdicts of the Stardust inquests, and the recommendations of the jury, in full, the Taoiseach has said.

The jury has returned verdicts of unlawful killing at the inquests into the deaths of the 48 people in the 1981 nightclub fire.

The 12-person jury delivered the verdict of unlawful killing to a packed courtroom in the Pillar Room on the grounds of the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin city centre.

In a statement, Simon Harris said the fire was “a heartbreaking tragedy because of the lives that were lost, the families that were changed forever, and the long, drawn-out struggle for justice that followed”.

“For over four decades, the families of the victims have carried the weight of this tragedy with unwavering strength and dignity,” he said.

“Their relentless pursuit of truth and accountability, their profound commitment to justice, even in the face of overwhelming challenges and setbacks, was not only a fight for their loved ones but a campaign to ensure that such a disaster never happens again.

“Their courageous campaign demands our respect and our support. They never stopped searching for answers, for justice, and for some form of peace.

“We best honour all those who died by ensuring that the voices of their loved ones are heard and acted upon,” Mr Harris said.

Inquests a result of unwavering search for truth

The verdicts have been described as a “watershed moment in the Stardust families’ decades-long search for the truth” by Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan.

He said the areas of north Dublin where many of the victims were from still bear the scars of the fire.

“Despite their unimaginable loss and pain, the Stardust families and survivors faced countless obstacles and have been forced to fight every step of the way in their quest for justice,” he said.

“The conclusion of these inquests, the longest ever held in this country, is the result of the extraordinary tenacity of the Stardust relatives and their unwavering commitment to vindicating the rights of those who died,” he added.

“While today’s unlawful death verdicts will not take from the families’ enduring sense of loss, the jury’s conclusions will hopefully bring them some comfort.”

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