Families of the victims of the Stardust fire will be granted legal aid, regardless of their means, for new inquests into the disaster.

Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys signed the Civil Legal Aid Regulations 2021, which was done "on an exceptional basis".

The families concerned are asked to engage with the Legal Aid Board if they wish to receive legal support as soon as possible and those applications will be reviewed "immediately".

In a statement to RTÉ News, the Department said that "Minister Humphreys hopes that the inquest will meet the expectations of the families involved and that it can commence shortly".

€8 million has been allocated for the new inquests.

The Department says that coroners throughout the country are now in a position to schedule public inquests in line with the lifting of restrictions.

A bespoke courtroom has been built in the RDS for the Stardust inquest, with remote technology installed.

Antoinette Keegan, who lost her sisters Mary and Martina in the Stardust disaster, has welcomed the news.

"We welcome what they've done today, but it's caused so much anxiety," she said.

Ms Keegan hopes that the inquests can start shortly, "hopefully in the next few weeks".

On 14 July Antoinette Keegan's family will mark one year since her mother, Christine Keegan, passed away, a woman who she said spent her life fighting on behalf on the 48 victims.

"Hopefully we'll have our day," she said.