‘Sunday’ relatives shock at Hillsborough findings

One of Derry’s leading Bloody Sunday campaigners has described the findings of a new report into the Hillsborough tragedy as a “diabolical cover-up”.

John Kelly, who lost his brother Michael on Bloody Sunday, yesterday spoke of his emotion at watching events in Liverpool unfold as the report was released to the Hillsborough families.

“I was as nervous watching them as I was the day we got our report,” he said. “We know only too well every level of emotion they’d have experienced, and in a way, watching the coverage was like watching a replay of what we ourselves went through in June 2010.”

He also hailed the campaigners behind the 1989 football tragedy as: “Strong-minded people who knew the truth about their loved one’s deaths and they were never going to go away. I think I speak for all the families when I say that we applaud them and their tireless campaign. They are a shining example to all who strive for truth and justice and they show, now more than ever, the importance of never giving up.”

The damning findings of the Hillsborough report came from analysing almost a quarter of a million previously unseen documents. It revealed a colossal conspiracy by both the British police and media to blame the football fans for their own deaths following the stadium crush on April 15, 1989. The report also found that 41 of the 96 Hillsborough victims could potentially have been saved if adequate emergency crews were present.

“Like ourselves, the Hillsborough families always knew the truth but it still took the British government 23 years to admit that fact and admit the diabolical cover-up orchestrated by the police. Thanks be to God, they got their truth at last,” Mr Kelly added.

Meanwhile, the British Prime Minister David Cameron has told Foyle MP Mark Durkan in the Commons that the Hillsborough disaster and Bloody Sunday share “common ground” - an injustice which was covered up and allowed to continue for far too long.

Amid calls for those implicated in the Hillsborough tragedy to be stripped of their honours, the Derry MP “strongly urged” the Forfeiture of Honours Committee to not only take action over Hillsborough, but Bloody Sunday too.

“I also hope they consider the case of Colonel Derek Wilford of 1st Para who was clearly indicted by the Saville Report,” Mr Durkan said. “One year after the murders on Bloody Sunday, Wilford was awarded the OBE. That was the reward for murder, injustice and lies.”