Stardust: Jury to resume deliberations for eighth day on Friday.

Dr Myra Cullinane answered series of questions posed by jurors

The jury in the Stardust inquests will resume for an eighth day of deliberations on Friday.

The five men and seven women jurors have been considering their verdicts in the deaths of 48 people, aged 16 to 27 in a fire in the north Dublin nightclub in the early hours of February 14th, 1981, for 28 hours.

On Thursday, Dublin coroner Dr Myra Cullinane told the jury establishing facts about the circumstances of the Stardust fire would not imply wrongdoing or breach of laws by anyone. She was answering questions jurors had asked on Wednesday afternoon.

She said they should consider the “laws, bylaws and regulations in place at the time of the fire” when thinking about the “standards of the time” against which they should consider circumstances of the deaths.


“However if you are considering matters where there were no standards in place at the time of the fire can move to consider norms and behaviours…but you must ask yourself in so doing was that behaviour the approved practice or did that behaviour have obvious inherent risk,” she added.

In addition to answering questions around the circumstances of the fire jurors must return verdicts in respect of each of the deceased. The verdicts open to the jury are accidental, misadventure, unlawful killing, open and narrative verdicts.

In response to a question as to whether answering ‘yes’’ to a question about the circumstances of the fire would imply “failure or breach or wrong doing”, Dr Cullinane said: “You are answering factual questions…You are not permitted in law to attach failure or breach of any law to any person identified or identifiable…Simply, if you answer ‘yes’ you are not implying failure or wrongdoing”.

When charging the jurors last month Dr Cullinane said they must be “dispassionate” and “clinical”, and “put emotions aside”, adding they were “under no time pressure” to reach their conclusions.

Explaining the verdicts, she spent time detailing the parameters within which the jurors must confine themselves if considering a verdict of unlawful killing.

“You have heard evidence in this case about how certain things were done and how they might have been done differently. Some of that evidence sought to set out a particular version of events,” she said.

“However, neither you nor I are allowed to record any conclusion ... which attaches criminal responsibility or civil responsibility to any person.”

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland is Social Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times