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Stardust, rational discussion please


SilverSpurs

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Nov 27, 2009
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5,550
The 30th anniversary of the Stardust disaster is not too far away so can we have a rational and dispassionate analysis of the disaster before the emotions run high again in the coming months. First of all let me say I am glad that the review of the evidence did overturn the original flawed conclusion that the fire was "probable arson". However I also believe the community around the nightclub was wrong to interpret the original report as a slur on the patrons and the community at large.

Lets examine the facts objectively:
1. The fire was started (a) accidentally; (b) by deliberate action or (c) by deliberate inaction.
2. The fire was started by (a) a patron; (b) a trespasser; (c) someone working on the premises or (d) a mechanical/electrical device.

From my reading of the report question 1 cannot be conclusively answeared and neither can question 2. As such it is my belief that we will never know the truth unless someone can come forward as a witness to the initiation of the fire (if such a witness exists which is a big if). As such i would oppose any new inquiry as the possibility of such a witness being found is overwhelmingly unlikely.
I also believe it is too easy to blame the nightclub owners as doing this seems to provide answears and some sort of closure and finality to the tragic events in the abscence of any other clear explanation of events.
Anyone who frequented the nightclub scene in those days could tell you a host of stories of shambolic health and safety especially in Dublin so a "Stardust" was bound to happen somewhere sooner or later. Also remember members of the owners family worked on the premises.

RTÉ News: 'No evidence' of arson in Stardust fire
(Link includes a link to a full pdf copy of the report)
 

Blanchinner

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Aug 25, 2010
Messages
217
Rationally speaking ,the Butterly bros. Called in the favours owed to them by the Haughey Clan /Fianna fail to get them off the hook for breakin the law by locking fire exits to a night club and thus massively contributing to the deaths of those locked in, !!!!
 

Aristodemus

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3,741
How the butterlys sleep at night after getting their blood money I'll never know. If they had any respect or empathy for the families of the dead and the scarred survivors of that night, they would have slunk off into obscurity.
 

Panopticon

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May 27, 2009
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5,576
How the butterlys sleep at night after getting their blood money I'll never know. If they had any respect or empathy for the families of the dead and the scarred survivors of that night, they would have slunk off into obscurity.
Isn't that what happened, hardly anybody under the age of 30 will have heard of them.
 

SilverSpurs

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I do feel the families are going to have to be realistic. Multiple factors fed into that tragedy and blame lies in many quarters not just in the owner. But in situations like this its easier to have a visible fallguy.
 

dresden8

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14,937
I do feel the families are going to have to be realistic. Multiple factors fed into that tragedy and blame lies in many quarters not just in the owner. But in situations like this its easier to have a visible fallguy.
Possibly true, but everything in this country stinks. The Stardust stinks too.

Our lords and masters ask us to trust them and their judgments.

They must be fncking joking, I'd rather trust Widgery.
 

Electric Sheep

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Feb 19, 2009
Messages
301
I do feel the families are going to have to be realistic. Multiple factors fed into that tragedy and blame lies in many quarters not just in the owner. But in situations like this its easier to have a visible fallguy.
What are the multiple factors that you feel fed into this?
 

Mar Tweedy

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Dec 12, 2008
Messages
625
I do feel the families are going to have to be realistic. Multiple factors fed into that tragedy and blame lies in many quarters not just in the owner. But in situations like this its easier to have a visible fallguy.[/]

What's your interest in the topic? Are you connected with any interested party to the tragic events?

I've no connection other than remembering the news at the time. I was a little young to fully realise the horror of it until I saw how shook the adults around me were by it. I wouldn't expect an 'irrational' discussion of it at this stage and am curious why your thread title seems to imply that you would expect 'irrational' responses. Have you been involved in such discussions before?
 

jackryan

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Aug 3, 2008
Messages
3,693
There is one good thing that has come out of this and that has been a big increase in safety at places used by the public! When u hear people giving out about fire drills and health & safety stardust should be mentioned!
 

redneck

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May 5, 2007
Messages
6,425
From what I could gather, the locked fire exits played a big part in the disaster. Yes there was a lack of enforcement by the authorities. But the way the Butterly family got their licence renewed-after so many deaths-left a sour taste.
Personally I feel, and I could be wrong here, that the electrical wiring/building layout played a large part.
Remembering the time, there was an attempt by the establishment to say, the "local community" had a part to play in it. Which was totally bogus.By the establishment I mean the Courts/Garda/Media/etc I also seem to remember an attempt to link paramilitaries with it also. The Northern troubles were in full swing at the time. With the passage of time I think it has become clearer that it may have been insurance related. Hope I havn't offended to many people.
 

firefly123

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Dec 8, 2009
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I spoke to some (now retired or dead) firefighters who were at it. They all said that the place was a death trap. They had nothing to get those trapped in the toilet out as they were not given adequate equipment and the windows were barred.

They had to listen to them die and could do nothing. After the star dust the fire act improved the services in Dublin and in some other parts of the country but there has been no significant improvement of the fire service in 20 years. The Dublin Fire Brigade is the same size (or smaller) than it was 20 years ago but the population has increased by approx 500,000 in the county. Every time I go to a club or packed venue I check out the exits because it is only a matter of time before it happens again.
We have been on calls to apartments where the exits lead to dead ends. There will be a fire in an underground car park in one of these places and people will die.
Our fire prevention is underfunded and under resourced. During the boom it was seen as an inconvience by both the builders and the local authorities.
 

SilverSpurs

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I spoke to some (now retired or dead) firefighters who were at it. They all said that the place was a death trap. They had nothing to get those trapped in the toilet out as they were not given adequate equipment and the windows were barred.

They had to listen to them die and could do nothing. After the star dust the fire act improved the services in Dublin and in some other parts of the country but there has been no significant improvement of the fire service in 20 years. The Dublin Fire Brigade is the same size (or smaller) than it was 20 years ago but the population has increased by approx 500,000 in the county. Every time I go to a club or packed venue I check out the exits because it is only a matter of time before it happens again.
We have been on calls to apartments where the exits lead to dead ends. There will be a fire in an underground car park in one of these places and people will die.
Our fire prevention is underfunded and under resourced. During the boom it was seen as an inconvience by both the builders and the local authorities.
Excellent points there. There was simply no culture of safety at the time. Nearly every nightclub/dancehall i was ever in those days had locked the emergency exits to stop people sneaking in for free and windows were barred to stop breakins. There should have been proper safety legislation and proper enforcement of that legislation to force establishments to unlock emergency exits and remove the bars on toilet windows but there wasnt.
Very true about the fire brigade not having enough equipment, they should have been able to break open the fire escapes and pull off the toilet window bars in seconds.
There was also a lack of legislation on flammable materials. Carpeted walls were very fashionable in those days and most fabrics and upholstrey used in those days would not be approved today. The foam used in seats in those days would also fail safety tests today. We have to ask why those materials were permitted.
This is why i consider it wrong to focus anger on the owner, there was a massive and cumulative collective failure on the part of our leaders. Demonising the owner deflects criticism away from where it is most deserved in my view.
 

b.a. baracus

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Feb 3, 2009
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2,230
Isn't that what happened, hardly anybody under the age of 30 will have heard of them.
There is a very large Butterly Business Park sign on the main road leading into the industrial estate where Stardust was located. They are hardly slinking off into obscurity.
 

redneck

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May 5, 2007
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6,425
Excellent points there. There was simply no culture of safety at the time. Nearly every nightclub/dancehall i was ever in those days had locked the emergency exits to stop people sneaking in for free and windows were barred to stop breakins. There should have been proper safety legislation and proper enforcement of that legislation to force establishments to unlock emergency exits and remove the bars on toilet windows but there wasnt.
Very true about the fire brigade not having enough equipment, they should have been able to break open the fire escapes and pull off the toilet window bars in seconds.
There was also a lack of legislation on flammable materials. Carpeted walls were very fashionable in those days and most fabrics and upholstrey used in those days would not be approved today. The foam used in seats in those days would also fail safety tests today. We have to ask why those materials were permitted.
This is why i consider it wrong to focus anger on the owner, there was a massive and cumulative collective failure on the part of our leaders. Demonising the owner deflects criticism away from where it is most deserved in my view.
Demonising the owner? Well 25 young men, 23 young women died in the fire, 11 people were badly disfigured, and 214 injured.
How would you feel if you were a victim. The victims actually paid 5£ to get in I think. Not great value for money there mate.
Locking fire exit doors was illegal. Anyway it is history now. I would urge all to check out Official Stardust Website and try and ensure justice.

Demonising the owners, well it seems to me as though the victims were also.
 

kbannon

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www.bavarian-board.co.uk

Electric Sheep

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
301
From what I could gather, the locked fire exits played a big part in the disaster. Yes there was a lack of enforcement by the authorities. But the way the Butterly family got their licence renewed-after so many deaths-left a sour taste.
Personally I feel, and I could be wrong here, that the electrical wiring/building layout played a large part.
Remembering the time, there was an attempt by the establishment to say, the "local community" had a part to play in it. Which was totally bogus.By the establishment I mean the Courts/Garda/Media/etc I also seem to remember an attempt to link paramilitaries with it also. The Northern troubles were in full swing at the time. With the passage of time I think it has become clearer that it may have been insurance related. Hope I havn't offended to many people.
I'm pretty sure that if the Stardust had been frequented by the sons and daughters of Dublin 4 the reaction of the establishment would have been very different indeed.
 

rob

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Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
876
Excellent points there. There was simply no culture of safety at the time. Nearly every nightclub/dancehall i was ever in those days had locked the emergency exits to stop people sneaking in for free and windows were barred to stop breakins. There should have been proper safety legislation and proper enforcement of that legislation to force establishments to unlock emergency exits and remove the bars on toilet windows but there wasnt.
Very true about the fire brigade not having enough equipment, they should have been able to break open the fire escapes and pull off the toilet window bars in seconds.
There was also a lack of legislation on flammable materials. Carpeted walls were very fashionable in those days and most fabrics and upholstrey used in those days would not be approved today. The foam used in seats in those days would also fail safety tests today. We have to ask why those materials were permitted.
This is why i consider it wrong to focus anger on the owner, there was a massive and cumulative collective failure on the part of our leaders. Demonising the owner deflects criticism away from where it is most deserved in my view.
They tried to remove the bars from the toilet windows with hawser cables tied to the fire tender .First try the tender could not go over a bank in front of the building. The second attempt resulted in the bars just bending together making things worse.

It is a good point about breaking open the fire escapes. i do not know the layout or if they could get close enough
 
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