Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Long and painful road to justice
Six months ago, when documents relating to the horrific events at the Hillsborough football stadium in 1989 started to be made public, the father of Tony Bland, a Keighley man who lost his life as a result of the crush of people in Sheffield, said simply: “More will come out.”
Allan Bland’s words came true yesterday when the findings of the Hillsborough independent panel were finally made public. More has come out; in fact, all of it has come out, and the families of those 96 football fans who died and the many more who were injured have finally received justice, of a sort, after almost quarter of a century of fighting against smears, hidden truths and outright lies.
It became received wisdom – and by default in many people’s minds the reality of the situation – in the years after Hillsborough that the tragedy was caused largely by Liverpool fans turning up without tickets, drunk and determined to get into the stadium.
Now we know what the families of those who were there have always maintained: this was simply not true.
Even worse, it was a lie that the authorities were more than happy to perpetuate to get themselves off the hook for their massive failings in ensuring that a stadium-full of football fans were kept safe.
Police fed lies to the media, and ambulance service bosses altered staff’s witness statements to put the blame on the Liverpool fans. This is the worst thing about the whole sorry affair. It would have been bad enough for the police and other agencies to fail to properly control a crowd of football fans, but to then lie, cheat and blacken the names of the dead simply to cover their own backs is truly, truly despicable.
Finally, Allan Bland and all those who lost family at Hillsborough have justice. It is downright criminal that it took so long for them to get it.