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Fantastic RTE Interview With One Of The Heroes Of The Hillsborough Saga

Fantastic RTE Interview With One Of The Heroes Of The Hillsborough Saga
By Conor Neville Updated

ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary on Hillsborough was screened on BBC 2 on Sunday night. Directed by Daniel Gordon, the doc provoked a massive response online. As too did the role of Prof. Phil Scraton, who emerged as one of the heroes of the saga.

Scraton appeared on the Ray D'Arcy Show on RTE Radio 1.

Scraton, a criminologist who currently lectures in the School of Law at Queen's University, Belfast, was tutoring at a night school sometime in the mid-1990s. At this stage, the story peddled by the South Yorkshire Police still held sway in many quarters. Chief Justice Taylor had, in his 1989 report, seen through many of the lies he had been fed by the senior police and had largely exonerated the fans. The Panorama show has revealed that the police and the right-wing press had sought to undermine the report following its publication.

In 1996, Margaret Thatcher's former press secretary Bernard Ingham, best known in this country for his strikingly bushy eyebrows and his fearless lobbying on behalf of the Sellafield nuclear plant, referred to Liverpool fans as 'tanked up yobs' and advised Liverpool people to 'shut up about Hillsborough'.

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After coming home from night school, Scraton switched on the telly and watched an interview with a police officer who was plainly haunted by the Hillsborough disaster. He resolved to make contact with this police officer. He made little headway. It was only after he'd given up the search that this man contacted him.

On their third meeting, he provided Scraton with a copy of his original statement on the disaster which had been heavily doctored by those higher up the chain. It had been altered in such a way to divert the blame away from the police.

Shortly afterwards, Scraton gained access to all the police statements, establishing beyond doubt that these statements had been altered by the senior police. Shortly afterwards, he wrote 'Hillsborough: The Truth'. His forensic investigative work was instrumental in securing the verdict of last month.

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In the aftermath of the BBC screening, many English commenters suggested that Scraton should receive the Freedom of Liverpool or a knighthood. It was pointed out by others that, judging by his struggles with the establishment, he might not be too bothered about receiving the latter.

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Read more: Jamie Vardy Details A Crucial Call Of Claudio Ranieri's Which Made Leicester Strong In Run-In

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