A lifelong Liverpool fan from Larne has spoken of his “relief and sadness” following the ruling that the 96 football supporters who died in the Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed.
After a two-year inquest and a 27-year fight by the families of those who died in the 1989 stadium tragedy, a jury has concluded that the Liverpool fans’ behaviour did not cause or contribute to the UK’s worst-ever sporting disaster.
Following Tuesday’s verdict, Fred Andrews, a member of Olderfleet Liverpool FC Supporters Club, told the Times: “Justice has finally been done for the 96.
“My first reaction when I heard the news was relief that the Liverpool fans had been cleared of any wrongdoing.
“But it is also very sad that it has taken so long for this day to come.”
The jurors were told they could only reach the determination of unlawful killing if they were sure of four “essential” matters concerning the deaths at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final.
They had to be convinced that overall match commander Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield owed a duty of care to those who died in the disaster, and that he was in breach of that duty of care.
Thirdly, they would need to be satisfied that his breach of duty caused the deaths and, fourthly, that it amounted to “gross negligence”.
They concluded it was unlawful killing by a majority of 7-2.