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Irish PM meets families of Stardust fire victims

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Simon Harris is meeting the families of the victims of the Stardust fire.

It comes ahead of an expected formal State apology next week.

On Valentine’s night in 1981, 48 young people died in a blaze at the Stardust nightclub in Artane, north Dublin.

On Thursday, the jury in the inquests into the fire found the victims had been unlawfully killed.

The original inquest, in 1981, ruled the fire started because of arson, a theory which was never accepted by the families of victims. That ruling was dismissed in 2009.

Following their 43-year battle for justice – members of the Stardust families said they now deserve a formal apology for the way in which the State handled the nightclub disaster.

It is expected Mr Harris will confirm that he will deliver a formal State apology in the Dáil (lower house of parliament) on Tuesday, according to Irish broadcaster RTÉ.

On Friday, the taoiseach told reporters he was “eager to be in a position to apologise to these families”, but wanted to meet with them first.

“I am very keen to meet with the families and very conscious that these families have felt unheard for decades, and I want to make sure that they know that I’m listening,” he said.

Asked about further investigations into the fire, Mr Harris said: “I am aware that the gardaí (Irish police) will be reviewing the coroner’s report, that’s right and proper that they do.

“I am also conscious that my colleague, the Minister for Justice, will ask the Attorney General to consider the report from the coroner as well.”


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