Relatives of those murdered on Bloody Sunday have expressed their elation and solidarity with the families of the Hillsborough victims and the people of Liverpool following their vindication.
John Kelly, whose brother Michael was among those killed in the Bogside area of Derry on January 30 1972, said the families and campaigners in both the Bloody Sunday and Hillsborough cases had stood shoulder to shoulder over the decades as they fought tirelessly for the truth.
Mr Kelly said watching the scenes after the verdict on Tuesday, as the families joined hands and raised their arms outside the courthouse, brought back the reaction of the Bloody Sunday relatives following the publication of the Saville Report back in 2010.
“It was emotional and I have to say it brought a tear to my eye.” Mr Kelly said. “I was just thinking, ‘Thank God’. It is a fantastic outcome for them. Seeing them coming out of the Inquest standing on the steps, it just brought me back again.
“We were standing beside them, the emotions they felt were the emotions we felt the day we got the Saville Report.
“They have supported us and we have supported them. We were ordinary people just like they were ordinary people.
We were standing beside them, the emotions they felt were the emotions we felt the day we got the Saville Report.John Kelly
“We have shared ideas with them over the years and we have had a good connection. Even a couple of days before we got our report they were here talking to us.
“The similarities between the two cases is incredible. The state was involved in a cover-up in both cases and must now be held accountable in both cases. Hopefully they do not have to go up the same obstacles we have come up against as they try to get justice now.”
Mr Kelly said that the success of both the Bloody Sunday and Hillsborough campaigns will help inspire others fighting for the truth, such as the Ballymurphy and Kingsmill relatives.
“The success we have had and the Liverpool families have had is shining a light for all those fighting for truth and justice,” he said.