"I am deeply sorry you had to fight for so long" Taoiseach to Stardust families

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"We failed you when you needed us"

Another pivotal moment in a four decade long search for justice took place in Leinster House on Monday.

Stardust victims families and survivors were in the Dail, to hear a state apology from Taoiseach Simon Harris, over how they have been treated by the state.

48 young people lost their lives in the 1981 fire at the Artane venue. 

Last Thursday, 43 years since their loved ones perished, an inquest found they had all died unlawfully.

In the Taoiseach's apology, he read each of the names  of those who died, with a small bio on each one, while Simon Harris also acknowledged that there was a 49th victim.

This was the un-born baby of Caroline Carey, a 17 year old, who had found out she was to become a mother.

"A talented Irish dancer, who took up disco dancing, a Dublin City Council clerical worker who recently found out she was to be a mother. Her family asked me to tell the house today, this baby was the 49th victim of the Stardust tragedy."

Simon Harris described the sense panic and desperation that the families must have experienced, as they learned what happened.

He noted the pain of having to identify their bodies by the jewellery they were wearing.

"Being accused of telling lies, the smear of arson attached to their loved ones, having their grief and sadness misconstrued as madness, a sense of threat and suppression when they simply started looking for answers," he said.


"The institutions of the State let you down.

"These brave families should never have had to walk alone. We should have been by your side, walking with you. We were not. And for that we are truly sorry."


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