Yesterday, Sunday 14 February, Archbishop Dermot Farrell said the Memorial Mass for the 40th anniversary of the Stardust fire, which recorded the greatest loss of human life due to fire in the history of the State. During his homily, Archbishop Farrell addressed the long lasting impact this tragedy has had on the Irish people.

Archbishop Farrell said, “So many families have endured enormous suffering, and today are re-living the horror of that night which is seared into the hearts and memories of a generation. A whole community was traumatised in the horror of that dreadful night. The lives of so many have been blighted by the loss of those young people, who were so full of hope and promise. That grievous loss has been compounded by their long quest for a full account of the tragedy that satisfies their need for truth.”

Emphasising the profound sense of grief surrounding the Stardust tragedy, he continued, “The young American poet Amanda Gorman captures what so many affected by the Stardust tragedy have been looking for for these last 40 years: the events of that night have cast a long and deep shadow, a: ‘loss we carry, a sea we must wade’.

“As your bishop, I come here this morning to stand in solidarity with you in your inexpressible grief and sadness, to pray both for the victims of this awful tragedy and for healing for the families who suffered such loss. The loss of life is always tragic. But the loss of young and innocent life is beyond tragedy.”

The Memorial Mass was celebrated in Saint Joseph the Artisan Church, Bonnybrook Parish, Dublin.

To read this homily in full, click here.

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