I am very conscious of the deep impact the fire at the Stardust in 1981 has had on individuals and families concerned, and on the wider community. I met the Stardust Victims and Relatives Committee last year and that meeting provided me with an opportunity to hear at first hand the ongoing concerns of the committee in regard to this tragic event.
The Deputy will be aware that these events were the subject of a tribunal of inquiry which reported in 1982 and an independent legal examination which reported in 2009. The report of the independent legal examination concluded that in the absence of any identified evidence as to the cause of the fire, the most another inquiry could achieve would be another set of hypothetical findings, which would not be in the public interest. The then Government, as the Deputies present will be aware, accepted those findings and motions were passed in both Houses of the Oireachtas endorsing those conclusions and expressing sympathy with the families.
Following my meeting with the committee and hearing the representatives' concerns, I appointed an official in my Department to liaise with the committee and who has engaged with representatives of the committee in the intervening period.
A researcher associated with the committee, who is known to the Deputy, submitted material relating to these events to my Department and a meeting was held with the researcher and another person associated with the committee. The material previously submitted and the matters raised at that meeting have continued to be examined in my Department.
I wish to advise the Deputy that some of the matters the committee raised, which it raised with me previously, are subject to a Garda investigation, and that is ongoing and quite complex at present. I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that it is, as I have said, a complex investigation and I cannot do anything that might cut across that investigation, but there has been ongoing contact with my Department and a range of material has been submitted which has had further analysis. I will be back in contact with the committee in regard to that analysis.