Eugene ‘Hughie’ Hogan (24), Artane - ‘He had a beautiful voice and loved to sing everything from Bowie to Bob Marley’

Read by his nephew Mark Hoban

The inquests into the deaths of the 48 young people who died in the Stardust fire in Artane, Dublin, in 1981 feature pen portraits of each of the deceased read by bereaved family members. Find all of the portraits and more coverage here.

Eugene ‘Hughie’ was born on June 2nd, 1956 in Finglas, Dublin, the fifth son to Eileen and Ted. The Hogan family would grow to nine children – six boys and three girls

When Eugene was 12, the family moved to the Woodville estate on Kilmore Drive.

Like all big Irish families, you learn to share and develop a good sense of humour. The nine Hogan kids were very close and fiercely loyal to one another.


He was closest to his brother Declan, who was 11 months older. Both would pick fruit in the summers for spending money or play soccer with friends in the field at the bottom of the road. The two shared the love of working with their hands and both became skilled carpenters as adults.

Hughie built fine mahogany cabinets for his parents. He also loved songbirds and tried to make extra money breeding canaries in the depressed economy of the 1970s.

Hughie had a beautiful voice and loved to sing everything from Bowie to Bob Marley. He could even hit the high notes of The Stylistics love songs.

He was slim and good looking. He loved to dress sharp in the latest styles.

Hughie fell in love with Marie, who lived just up the street. They married on March 18th, 1977 ... had two beautiful daughters, Andrea and Sonia.

With the depression in Ireland at the beginning of the 1980s Hughie found himself out of work. He got an offer of a job and a new life ... They were to move to Kerry on February 15th, 1981.

On February 13th, while his younger sisters would babysit his little girls, Hughie and Marie would celebrate with his brother Declan and wife Geraldine ... saying goodbye to Dublin and toasting their future. Later that evening Hughie and Marie would join his younger brother Bernard at the Stardust.

In the early hours of February 14th, 1981 there was a loud knocking on the front door. Someone had brought our sister-in-law Marie. She said: “There is a fire at the Stardust”.

The days following the fire were a blur of disbelief, shock and sorrow. Our parents drove to the hospitals trying to find the boys. After many hours they located Bernard at the Mater hospital.

The older brothers helped in the search for their brother. It was three days later when his older brother Edmund would identify Hughie’s body. Identity was confirmed by his belt and tattoo.

The church was filled with family, friends and neighbours. Hughie was buried, like many other victims, in Sutton cemetery. One victim laid to rest, followed by another and another. Politicians promised that they would investigate, but the Tribunal ultimately blamed the victims for starting the fire.

The circumstances of Hughie’s death are unspeakable – indescribable to be trapped and burnt alive.

Ted and Eileen never came to terms with the Stardust atrocity, it was with them every day of their lives.