Inside the Stardust: How tragedy unfolded at a Valentine’s disco in Dublin on Friday, February 13th, 1981

Fire spread rapidly through the Artane nightclub leading to the deaths of 48 young people



22..00 – Doors of Stardust open for Valentine’s disco at the Stardust nightclub in Artane on Dublin’s northside.

00.00 – Doors close and over 840 patrons aged from 14 years are inside

01.00 – The bars close

01.15 – Dance competition starts


01.30 – Dance competition ends

01.31 – Increase in heat felt by patrons sitting adjacent to west alcove

01.40 – Smell of smoke in area at front of west alcove

01.41 – Small flame visible on seat at back of west alcove nearest the bar

01.42 – Fire spreading to adjoining seats

01.43 – 999 call to fire-brigade from inside Stardust and another from neighbour in nearby house

01.44 – Flames reach ceiling in west alcove, ceiling collapses in west alcove

01.45 – West alcove engulfed in flame; black smoke filling ballroom; lights flash and fail in Stardust; flames shooting over ballroom and ceiling collapsing

01.46 – Fire venting through roof

01.47 – North alcove seats on fire

01.49 – Entire ballroom on fire. First fire-tender FB61 from Kilbarrack arrives

01.50 – FB42 arrives from North Strand

01.51 – Flames at outer doors. Fire diminishing

01.58 – Four more fire tenders have arrived