THREE Mersey families today told of the heartache at learning their loved ones could have survived the Hillsborough tragedy.
James Delaney, 19, Jimmy Hennessy, 29, and Richard Jones, 25, were among 41 Liverpool FC fans who could have lived had the emergency services done their job.
The shocking news was broken to relatives in one-to-one meetings held on request by Dr Bill Kirkup, a member of the independent panel whose findings tore apart the official line that Liverpool fans died by the 3.15pm cut-off time imposed by Sheffield coroner Dr Stefan Popper.
Ellesmere Port dad Nick Delaney, 31, was just nine when he lost his brother that fateful day in April 1989.
He also lost both parents in the 23 years it took for the truth to belatedly emerge.
He said they had both tirelessly fought for justice for their son.
Mr Delaney said: “I think Hillsborough not only killed by brother, it killed my mum and dad.
“From that day, my mum’s health deteriorated. It was a long slog of illnesses from that day on. When she died in 2003, my dad’s health spiralled.”
Mr Delaney, who lives in Ellesmere Port, had vowed to discover whether his parents’ suspicion that James was still alive when he was taken to the mortuary was correct.
Dr Kirkup said his belief was that James was alive long after the 3.15pm deadline.
Mr Delaney said: “My mum had always said to me that James was not dead when they said he was.
“Strangely I felt over the moon when I was told the news because it proved that my mum was right all along.
“I could not believe how everything my mum had said was true. Everything she had fought for was true.
“It was the biggest cover up from the top to the bottom.
“Now I am going to fight in their memory. I want to go the whole hog and get my teeth into it.”
Like his friend James Delaney, James “Jimmy” Hennessy was another of the so-called “41”.