Hillsborough Disaster: We want apology, says son of victim

Grieving: Ian Burke, whose father Henry died in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.           PICTURE: DEAN ATKINS
Grieving: Ian Burke, whose father Henry died in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. PICTURE: DEAN ATKINS
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A MAN who moved to Sheffield to be closer to where his dad was crushed to death in the Hillsborough disaster has called on the Government to accept responsibility for the deaths of 96 men, women and children in the tragedy.

Ian Burke, aged 41, of Manor, spoke about his loss for the first time today – on the eve of the publication of a report on all the files on the disaster in existence.

An independent panel charged with reviewing the documents, and releasing then into the public domain, delivers its findings to relatives of the victims tomorrow.

Families who believe there was a cover-up, because nobody was ever held accountable for the deaths, say they hope the release of previously unseen files will shine a new light on what happened.

Mr Burke moved to Sheffield 12 years ago to be closer to where his dad Henry Burke died, aged 48.

“I can remember taking the call from my uncle and having to tell my mum that my dad had died,” said Ian.

“He went to a football match and never came home, and for 23 years nobody has been accountable.

“I want the Government to hold its hands up and accept responsibilty - it is in overall charge of the police force which opened the gates and it funds the FA.

“It might be 23 years later but it still hurts me now, and families of the victims will not give up the fight for justice.”

Fans died during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in April 1989 when gates into Hillsborough Football Stadium were opened to ease congestion outside - leading to crushing in the pens at the Leppings Lane end.

Margaret Aspinall, aged 65, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, said: “We want to know how our loved ones died, how and when the gates were opened on an already overcrowded pen.

“We just want to know what happened. Who helped our loved ones? Why were the medics not brought onto the pitch? Why were ambulances stopped?

“We do not think that a disaster action plan was ever put in place that day.

“Without the truth you cannot grieve.”