Hillsborough: Will the 96 get justice at last?

Nothing can undo the disgraceful cover-up of the Hillsborough disaster

Share

Revelations that the great Hillsborough cover-up has been broken, that at last there will be full exposure of attempts to obscure the detail of how and why 96 innocent people died more than 23 years ago, will create both expectancy and hope when relatives of the victims hear the first details of a report that we are told is exhaustive at Liverpool Cathedral this morning.

The expectancy is of the first proper accounting of the negligence and the inefficiency of the police and the emergency services which were so apparent to anyone who was present when a football field turned, on an afternoon of spring sunshine, into a killing field.

The hope is that is that for first time we will hear on official lips the word sorry.

A report that includes evidence of the doctoring of witness statements cannot bring back a single life of those lost so carelessly but it can make those relatives who have carried their hurt for so long feel that the fate of their loved ones has, finally, been recognised for what it was - not some unstoppable chain of misadventure, but a gross failure by those entrusted with the safety of the people.

You do not need to have lost a relative to feel this so intensely. It was sufficient to walk out on that field - as I did on that terrible afternoon - when there was no sight of an ambulances but just desperate pockets of fans fighting to save so many lives which were ebbing away before their eyes.

They were, presumably, these fans improvising stretchers out of advertising hoardings, the same ones who were accused of urinating on ambulance men and robbing the dead. Of all the lies and evasions of responsibility that day these were the most outrageous, and have inevitably lingered most poisonously, but the big and central one was that most blame could be attached to hooligan behaviour.

The report of Lord Taylor placed the burden of blame on the failures of the police - and no-one who was present to see the nightmare unfold could argue with that. Yet 21 years on, we still wait for that official atonement. We still wait for the word sorry.

That it may come today, so belatedly, is no reason for celebration. But this does not make in any less a requirement of decency - or a long over-due debt to the innocent dead.

 

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Graduate BI Consultant (Business Intelligence) - London

£24000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Graduate BI Consultant (B...

Service Delivery Manager (Product Manager, Test and Deployment)

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Service Delivery Manager (Product Ma...

English Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: English Teachers with QTS nee...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Scottish referendum results: A change is gonna come – it’s GOT to come

James Bloodworth
The Prime Minister David Cameron speaks outside Downing Street after the result of the Scottish Referendum  

Scottish referendum results: And now for the West Lothian question – but resolving it won’t be easy

Rosie Millard
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week