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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 14 October, 2019

'We will never forget': Events take place to mark 30th anniversary of Hillsborough tragedy

The city of Liverpool is set to fall silent at 3.06pm today.

30th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson and Lord Mayor Christine Banks on the steps of St George's Hall Source: Eleanor Barlow/PA Images

THE CITY OF Liverpool is set to fall silent this afternoon, as the community marks 30 years since the Hillsborough disaster.

During the FA Cup semi-final at the Sheffield stadium on 15 April 1989, a crush occurred involving fans in the Liverpool section. 96 people died. An inquest in 2016 found that they had been unlawfully killed.

At 3.06pm today – the same time the match was stopped on the day – the bell at Liverpool Town Hall will toll 96 times.

liverpool echo Source: Liverpool Echo

Mersey Ferries will sound the horns, and traffic will be stopped for one minute at both tunnels, while museums and shopping centres will ask people to observe the minute’s silence.

This morning, 96 lanterns with lit candles were displayed on the steps of St George’s Hall with members of the public invited to pay their respects  and leave tributes if they wish.

Yesterday, the anniversary was marked at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium prior to their game against Chelsea with a minute’s silence featuring mosaics reading “30 years” and “96″ held up by fans around the ground.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: “St George’s Hall is our city’s gathering place – whether to celebrate or commemorate – and I can think of no better venue to host a temporary memorial.

The banners adorned with the images of the 96 will be especially powerful, and the lanterns will serve as a reminder that this city will never forget them.

Court case

The 30th anniversary of the tragedy comes just two weeks after a jury failed to reach a verdict on former police chief David Duckenfield – who was match-day commander at Hillsborough.

He had been charged with 95 counts of gross negligence manslaughter. He had pleaded not guilty to all counts. 

Victims’ families had fought a long campaign for events surrounding the disaster to be re-investigated, with the Crown Prosecution Service announcing the decision to press charges in June 2017.

In court, the CPS alleged Duckenfield had the “ultimate responsibility” for allowing the crush to occur.

But the defence argued the case was “breathtakingly unfair” and said the defendant had “tried to do the right thing”.

The CPS has said it will seek a retrial against Duckenfield.

However, the jurors at Preston Crown Court in northwest England did convict a former Sheffield Wednesday club official for failing to renew the stadium’s safety certificate.

The jury, comprising six men and six women, had entered their eighth day of deliberations when they found Graham Mackrell, 69, guilty.

With reporting from AFP

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Sean Murray

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