Home » OPINION: Stardust Tragedy’s War and Peace

OPINION: Stardust Tragedy’s War and Peace

by Jimmy Rhatigan

For some it was the day that a brutal and callous war of attrition ended in what might be termed a pyrrhic victory.

For others it may be recorded in diaries as a ceasefire, a break from hostilities to plan for what might be termed a real peace, a righting of injustices.

It would be an opportunity for the innocent victims of bitter battle to finally rest in peace in their lonely graves and for their loved ones to feel vindicated for their 40 year battle with City Hall.

Chances are that a film may be made about the Stardust Fire Tragedy that snatched so many lives and left a large chunk of inner city Dublin homes with vacant chairs, their young and not so young bodies cruelly lying in the ashes of a blaze that was to highlight the injustices of the Ireland of the time.

A display of official savagery and disrespect was the dismissal by our then Government of Ministers and TDs of the wants and the needs of grieving mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters who were treated as lepers.

Families were ignored, insulted and kept in the dark by those who should have been looking after their welfare instead of treating them with disdain and disgust for what must have been 40 years of horrific suffering and pain.

When loving families asked for the hand of friendship after kith and kin had perished in a night club fire they were confronted by arrogance and ignorance, the first shots in what would turn out to be a 40-year war in which relatives armed with love, courage and broken hearts confronted the mighty of the day, who if ‘right’ was spelled ‘decency’ would have been on the side of the downtrodden and brutally treated by men in pinstriped suits and women in fancy garb.

Both of the latter groups turned out to be wolves in sheeps’ clothing as they insulted and harried decent people fighting for sons and daughters who lay in lonely graves but were treated by City Hall as if they had never even existed.

Lesser warriors would have thrown in the towel as every window was locked and door slammed in their faces as they battled for justice for their nearest and dearest but were instead given the two fingers, pushed from pillar to post by our Government and ignored as if nothing had happened.

A tragedy that had ripped the heart out of inner city Dublin brought out the worst in some of our politicians who for whatever reasons put every obstacle possible in front of decent honourable people who simply wanted justice so that the loves of their lives so cruelly snatched from them could finally rest in peace.

It wasn’t as if Government didn’t get opportunities to show respect to people who deserved a listening ear and heartfelt help as a war that was to last for four decades raged for every day and night for tormented families who deserved so much better than to be battered and bruised by those who should have known better.

It was a somber Dáil Eireann that listened to new Taoiseach Harris as he waxed lyrically to a packed house, including families of the fire victims, doing his utmost, and it seems succeeding, in winning his way into the broken hearts of those who may have viewed the gathering as a truce between Government and people, a time for reflection, a forgiveness of sins perhaps, if not an end to hostilities as there are still so many wrongs to be righted and perhaps fingers of guilt to be pointed.

Families had fought a bitter fight for a lifetime. To the very end or at least near end they were dignified in battle as they acknowledged the utterings of Harris and his colleagues, showed respect for a political profession they could have openly hated.

Families displayed the valor and decorum of a people who had been kicked from pillar to post and and were akin to the unfortunate lepers of another time who had featured in the earlier pages of so called civilized history.

With our mind’s eye we see a similar gathering in our capital in perhaps another 40 years’ time when TDs, accompanied by a selection of medics may be baring their souls to people who were vilified and subjected to campaigns of fear during a so-called Covid Pandemic that has claimed millions of lives around the world.

In the company of a mainstream media that chose to close its eyes to the real stories of Covid and its aftermath, the medics and politicians may just apologize for failing to investigate properly the reason for thousands of ‘extra deaths’ throughout the counties of Ireland.

Without an independent investigation, nobody can truthfully say that the ‘extra deaths’ were caused by Covid or that vaccines much maligned by many doctors who were sacked for their honest utterings, were responsible for the worrying carnage that continues to claim the lives of so many young and young at heart.

So why then is Official Ireland refusing to grant this investigation? All that our people would like to hear is that the deaths are due to whatever and that moves are afoot to save so many who at this juncture are in the firing line of a deadly killer.

Sadly, it looks like a proper investigation may never be sanctioned. That has to be the greatest medical scandal in the history of medicine, as some people somewhere, politicians and some medics, aided and abetted by a turncoat media, national and local join forces to keep the real story from the headlines.

Some day the cat will be let loose among the pigeons. Sadly, many of us who would like to know the truth will have passed to our eternal reward when the bubble bursts, or is pricked by public opinion.

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