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Public invited to hear insights into 'Hillsborough: The Truth' at Queen’s

22/06/2016


The Queen’s University professor who played a central role in uncovering the truth about the Hillsborough disaster will offer his insights into the 27-year-long campaign for justice at a free public talk and book launch at Queen’s on Tuesday 28 June.

Professor Phil Scraton, from Queen’s School of Law, is the author of Hillsborough: The Truth - acclaimed as the definitive account of the context, circumstances and aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster which claimed the lives of 96 men, women and children in April 1989.

The book has now been revised, with an additional three chapters following the longest inquests in legal history, which concluded in April 2016, with a ruling that those who died had been unlawfully killed. The final chapter presents the compelling ‘inside story’ of the inquests from their preliminary hearings through to the recent verdicts.

Professor Scraton will launch Hillsborough: The Truth at 6.30pm on Tuesday 28 June, in the Great Hall at Queen’s, followed by an ‘In Conversation’ interview with the BBC’s Tara Mills and a book signing. Copies of the book will be available to purchase at the event.

A collection of papers and documents in relation to Professor Scraton’s work with the Hillsborough families will also be on display at the event.

Professor Scraton said: “Hillsborough: The Truth is compelling and harrowing. It reveals how the interests of ordinary people are ignored when those in authority sacrifice truth and deny accountability to protect their reputations.

“Drawing on personal accounts and in-depth research from the days after the disaster through to the inquest verdicts,this book exposes how the bereaved families and survivors were failed by successive investigations and inquiries. It considers the impact and consequences of these institutional failures, the negative press coverage and the origins and promotion of the myth that those who died and survived were responsible.

“The latest edition draws on my role as head of research for the Hillsborough Independent Panel and principal author of its ground-breaking report published in September 2012. It explains how the report’s 153 findings led to a full apology to the families from the Prime Minister, the establishment of a new criminal investigation and the largest ever investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

“It documents the quashing of the original inquest verdicts and the new inquests that concluded just two months ago, delivering a damning verdict. After three decades of struggle by the bereaved families and survivors, the police were held primarily responsible and the fans were exonerated.”

In recognition of his support to the Hillsborough families over 27 years and his prominent role in revealing the truth about the Hillsborough disaster, Professor Scraton will receive the Freedom of the City of Liverpool in September.  Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, his wife Marina and former Bishop of Liverpool James Jones are also to be honoured.

Anyone who wishes to attend the launch of Hillsborough: The Truth at Queen’s University Belfast is asked to register online at http://qpol.qub.ac.uk/event/hillsborough-phil-scraton/ or phone 028 9097 3758.

Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Clarke/Michelle Cassidy, Queen’s Communications Office, comms.officer@qub.ac.uk, 028 9097 5310.

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