The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has told the Dáil that if an independent assessment recommends a fresh inquiry into the Stardust disaster then one will be held.

He was answering questions on attempts by relatives to reopen the investigation into the blaze which claimed 48 lives 26 years ago.

Mr Ahern said a dossier prepared by the relatives contained no new evidence, but reflected a fresh interpretation of the events of that night.

He had proposed that an eminent legal person examine the dossier, with a view to seeing whether a new inquiry was justified and his department was close to agreeing the terms of reference of this process.