My blog Social Jigsaw Puzzle .




  1. paddoconnell said,

    28/11/2017 at 12:51 am


  2. paddoconnell said,

    08/12/2017 at 8:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Paddoconnell's Blog.

  3. 14/12/2017 at 6:12 pm

    Last night in Dáil Éireann, Deputy Broughan’s motion calling for the immediate establishment of a Commission of Investigation into the Stardust Tragedy of 1981 was debated and it will be voted on this afternoon. Deputy Broughan brought forward this motion tabled in the name of Independents4Change and People Before Profit and the Anti-Austerity Alliance and it is also supported by Sinn Féin, the Labour Party, the Social Democrats and other left Independents. Deputy Broughan has supported the Stardust Relatives’ and Victim’s Committee since the mid-1980’s and continues to support their fight for answers and justice throughout his time in Dáil Éireann.
    Last night, Deputy Broughan and those who spoke in support of his call for the immediate establishment of a Commission of Investigation passionately highlighted the myriad of reasons why such a Commission is needed. The families and victims’ of the worst fire disaster in the history of the state where 48 young people tragically lost their lives and 214 others were injured have had a continuous struggle for justice for almost 36 years now. The infamous fire which took place in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 1981 has never been throughouly and properly investigated and no-one has ever been held to account. This is despite the original Keane Tribunal Report concluding that the owners showed “reckless disregard” for the lives of the patrons and staff by locking and chaining exits and that Dublin Corporation did not properly inspect the converted jam factory and ensure that it was complying with planning bye-laws and fire safety regulations. Most disturbing of course was Keane’s final conclusion that arson was the probable cause of the fire despite earlier stating in the same report that there was no way of knowing how the fire started.
    This outrageous finding and slur on the victims was eventually expunged from the public record 28 years after the inferno through a Dáil motion in February 2009 following an independent examination by (now Mr Justice) Paul Coffey in 2008 (which followed almost a decade of investigative work by local journalists and researchers and a Prime Time Investigates anniversary programme). Of course, the then Bertie Ahern-led Government had originally appointed John Gallagher to head the examination but when the Stardust Committee discovered that Mr Gallagher had represented Gardaí in the original Keane Tribunal, they campaigned to have him replaced. Again, through the Stardust Relatives’ and Victims’ Committee and supporters’ own investigative work, they discovered through an FOI that Mr Paul Coffey had submitted his “completed” report to the Government on the 10th of December 2008 which included the recommendation for a new inquiry. This, and other significant changes, were not in the Report presented to the House in January 2009.
    Deputy Broughan says “Up until Monday night of this week it looked as if the motion calling for the immediate establishment of a Commission of Investigation would be passed by the House. We have a letter, dated the 27th of March 2014, from Deputy Micháel Martin to Antoinette Keegan of the Stardust Relatives’ and Victims’ Committee stating that Fianna Fáil would back the call for a Commission. Antoinette had also been liaising with Deputies in the lead-up to this motion calling on their support. Minister Finian McGrath has also, of course, been a supporter of the Committee’s campaign for justice and answers and as recently as the 31st Dáil we shared a Topical Issues Debate on the need for such a Commission. Last week I received reports that the motion was causing friction in Government as Minister McGrath wanted to support it.
    Yesterday I was extremely disappointed to learn that rather than stick to his principles and his obligations to the families and districts involved that he had instead agreed to an exercise which is clearly a Coffey Mark 2. I, of course, 100% support the decision of the Stardust Committee families but am concerned that this option was put to them as their only way forward. Fianna Fáil is now also typically reneging on their promises and will support the Government’s amendment which is kicking the can down the road. I am urging Minister McGrath to withdraw this amendment and to support our motion to establish a quick, short Commission of Investigation under the 2004 McDowell legislation. In the absence of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil doing the right thing, then I sincerely hope that the independent judge’s outcome is for a new Commission of Investigation and that this leads finally to justice and peace for these families and our community. If Minister McGrath had shown any backbone, the Dáil today would have decided to immediately set up a Commission of Investigation under the 2004 Act.”
    The transcripts of the speeches are available at:

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