'Heavy echoes of Hillsborough': Shelagh Fogarty's moving reaction to CL final chaos

30 May 2022, 14:51 | Updated: 30 May 2022, 14:54

By Seán Hickey

'The French authorities have taken some lessons from the South Yorkshire police playbook' in their management of the fallout from Saturday's UEFA Champions League Final chaos, Shelagh Fogarty says.

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French officials have come under fierce scrutiny following Saturday night's Champions League Final, which saw Liverpool fans tear gassed and assaulted by French police near the Stade de France.

Political figures and policing authorities blamed the widespread circulation of counterfeit tickets in advance of the Champions League final for immense delays and unsavoury scenes in Paris.

Read more: France blames Champions League final chaos on '40,000 fans with fake tickets'

France's interior minister Gerald Darmanin said on Monday that between 30,000 and 40,000 travelling Liverpool fans arrived at the Stade de France either without tickets or with counterfeit copies.

"I can tell you with a great deal of certainty that it isn't precisely what the French authorities, both political and policing, are describing", Shelagh Fogarty told her listeners.

"I've been sick to my stomach over the weekend actually, whenever I focus on this story and I can only imagine how much more sick to their stomachs and their hearts the real victims of Hillsborough have been."

Read More: 'Shameful to blame fans': Liverpool Mayor demands UEFA answers after Paris chaos

Shelagh drew similarities between how the French police have reacted to the chaos and how South Yorkshire Police handled the immediate aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, where 97 Liverpool fans died in a crush at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium.

Read more: Shelagh Fogarty: I think anyone who invades a football pitch is an idiot

Read more: Liverpool fans booing national anthem was 'misdirected', says ex-Bishop of city

"You cannot look at these events and the words coming out of the mouths of the authorities in France all these years on and not hear heavy, heavy echoes of Hillsborough."

Shelagh worked at Radio Merseyside during Hillsborough disaster and its immediate aftermath, working tirelessly to elevate the voices of eyewitnesses who tried to get the truth out over the disaster.

"If Twitter existed in 1989...that 30 year injustice could not have happened", she insisted, arguing that "the collective memory of Hillsborough probably saved lives on Saturday."

"No doubt there's a headline in a trashy French newspaper brewing. Headline: La verité." Shelagh quipped, calling for "a proper investigation into what went on" on Saturday.

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