Today, Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan hosted a meeting with the office of the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe and the families and legal team of the Stardust tragedy.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms Boylan said;
“Today’s meeting was very productive, and worthwhile. Darragh Mackin of Phoenix Law, Belfast outlined the legal case for requesting a new inquest but also outlined how the experience of the Stardust families was symptomatic of the difficulties that Irish Citizens can experience in accessing justice.
“Fundamental human rights have been violated in the case of the Stardust and it was important that the families were able to detail their personal experiences in trying to access justice for the last 37 years. It is incredible that those who survived the fire have never given evidence on what happened that night.
“While the Council of Europe can’t make recommendations on individual cases, it is important that the case of the Stardust and the broader issues of accessing justice were brought to their attention. We will now continue to keep them updated on the progress of the legal application to reopen the inquest.
“I would hope that when the Human Rights Commissioner next visits Ireland, she would consider making access to justice one of her priorities, especially applications made under Article 2, the right to life and would make recommendations to the Irish Government on reforming the system.”
"His name was Michael, that's what I called him. I'm his mother Gertrude."
During the family's meeting with the office of the Human Right's Commissioner, Gerty Barrett retold her story of grief and pain since the death of her son, Michael.
"I want justice for my son. I want an apology. I want to know why my son's inquest was held in the manner that it was. Ultimately, I want to know why my rights were violated and my grief stretched beyond human emotion".