2/22/2006

Stardust Victims deserve better



I see one of the survivors of the Stardust tragedy is to stand as an Independent in the next Dáil election. This terrible tragedy happened 25 years ago last week and it is disgraceful and a matter of national shame that after a quarter of a century, the families have not had their grievances dealt with. 48 people died needlessly simply because the fire exits were chained in an attempt to stop people getting into the disco without charge. Employing extra staff would cost too much, so the lives of many young people were put in danger.

The Stardust victims' group want a full independent inquiry and this is the very least they deserve, espicially when you consider that the initial inquiry has been discredited.

I read a very interesting article from Susan McKay on the tragic issue in yeterday's Irish News. She referred to the song about the Stardust by Christy Moore, entitled "They Never Came Home". I remember hearing this song a number of years ago. It was the first time I'd ever heard of tragedy and the story Christy tells is shocking. He is scathing of politicans' attitutes towards the victims;

Our leaders were shocked, grim statements were made
They shed tears in the graveyard as the bodies were laid
The victims have waited in vain for 4 years
It seems like our leaders shed crocodile tears

It is shocking to compare the manner in which the owner of the nightclub was treated compared to those who had lost children. The nightclub was valued as being worth IR£581,496 compensation, the lives of the children only IR£7,500. That equates a nightclub as being worth 77 children.

Days turn to weeks and weeks turn to years
Our laws favour the rich or so it appears
A woman still waits for her lads to come home
Injustice breeds anger and that's what's been done

The anger and injustice that these families have suffered should never be forgotten. Their campaign is a worthy one and I sincerely hope that they get what they deserve and that there will be full disclosure on this awful chapter in Irish history.

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