Sinéad Gibney, the Social Democrats’ Dublin candidate for the European Election and former Irish Human Rights and Equality Commissioner, has welcomed confirmation that there will be a State apology to the Stardust families in the Dáil on Tuesday – but says it must mark a turning point in how victims of injustice are treated in this country.

Speaking today, she said:

“The pace of the Government’s initial response to last Thursday’s inquest verdicts is welcome but is the very minimum of what the families and survivors deserve. It is appropriate that the relatives and their legal team are to have an input into what will be contained in the official State apology, which must be comprehensive and detailed.

“The suffering of the Stardust families is a human rights and access to justice issue. For over four decades, the State has used the legal system and its institutions to deny them these very rights.

“Successive governments systematically blocked, delayed and avoided delivering justice and truth to a community already burdened by unimaginable grief. Justice delayed is justice denied.

“The Stardust families and their supporters have been forced to fight for decades for access to the truth about what happened on that terrible night. A State apology is the very least that the Government can offer and I welcome that it is happening so quickly.

“Tuesday’s apology should also be a watershed moment for reform. The Government must examine and change a culture in which victims of State wrongdoing are treated with suspicion and move towards an attitude of care. The biases in the system – in this case classism – must be addressed to provide equality before the law.”

April 21, 2024

Back to all Posts