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Stardust Inquest: Nightclub manager’s application to remove unlawful killing verdict denied by coroner

An application to remove “unlawful killing” as a possible verdict in the forthcoming Stardust inquests has been denied by the coroner.

The application was made by the former club’s manager, Eamon Butterly.

In a ruling issued today, coroner Dr Mya Cullinane said: “In any event, it is not within my power as a Coroner to investigate allegations of civil or criminal wrongdoing, although it is both my power and my duty to investigate acts or omissions which might in other settings be consistent with such allegations.”

Monday marked the 41st anniversary of the tragedy and a vigil was held on Sunday on the site of the blaze in Artane.

Veteran broadcaster Charlie Bird was invited to the vigil by the Stardust Committee, having covered the story since the tragic night, and singer Christy Moore also performed.

Retired journalist Charlie was recently diagnosed with motor neurone disease and his voice is weakening from the disease every day.

Charlie, speaking through his voice bank, recalled the horror of the tragedy.

He said: “I will never forget that freezing cold night, it was early morning when I got here, and the scene I saw was now etched in my mind forever.

“When you look back, the relatives of those who died on Bloody Sunday got a State apology, the Hillsborough relatives got some justice.

“To our eternal shame here is a group of relatives who are still waiting for the truth of what happened on that night 41 years ago.

“I have said this so many times before.

“If the Stardust tragedy happened in some middle class area of this country, or indeed on the south side of Dublin, we would not be here today still trying to find out what happened on the dreadful cold February night.

“So after 41 years you still have not got the answers and justice you deserve, and for as long as I can I will do anything I can to help you.

“I keep saying this. I really mean it. You are the most remarkable group of people.”

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