Grenfell inquiry LIVE: Updates as grieving families share tributes t
Grenfell inquiry LIVE: Updates as grieving families share tributes to 72 victims of tower inferno
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Tributes to the 72 people who died due to the Grenfell Tower fire will be heard today as a public inquiry into the tragedy begins.
Almost one year after the blaze ripped through the west London tower block in Kensington, bereaved friends and family will present profiles of the deceased.
Over two weeks, pre-recorded videos and statements will be delivered to retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who is chairing the inquiry in central London.
Tributes will be paid to six victims today – baby Logan Gomes, Denis Murphy, Mohamed Amied Neda, Joseph Daniels and mother and daughter Mary Mendy and Khadija Saye. It comes after the government pledged to consult on banning flammable cladding from high-rise buildings.
MailOnline will bring you all the updates today as the inquiry gets under way. To read this in the app, click here.
Sebastian Murphy Bates
Anne-Marie Murphy has called Denis Murphy (pictured), who died in the blaze, an inspiration to all he knew.
Anne-Marie has told of the last phone call Tim Murphy received from his brother Denis as the fire began to take over the tower block.
‘Other people always featured and first and foremost in Denis’ life,’ she told the inquiry. ‘We really can’t think of a better role model we could have had.
‘The day Denis died a part of all of us died too.’
Mr Murphy had trials for Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace but was forced to stop playing due to an injury. He then focused on caring for the disabled and working for the benefit of his community, sister Anne-Marie has told today’s inquiry.
She said the Chelsea supporter was the linchpin of her family and was her hero due to his warmth, wit and love of life.
Mr Murphy cared for his siblings with a strong set of principles as though he was a parent, his grieving sister has told the inquiry.
Mr Murphy’s sister, Anne-Marie, is joined by her mother, Mr Murphy’s ex-wife, his son and brother.
Anne-Marie is reading from a prepared statement and says her brother was born with a twinkle in his eye.
Mr Murphy was an avid football fan and player as well as a keen runner when he was a boy.
There will now be a five-minute break before tribute is paid to Denis Murphy.
Mr Gomes says losing his son in the fire has been his hardest battle as he shared scan pictures and clothes he had bought for his future ‘gaming buddy’.
He says without his wife he would not be here and praised her ‘rock solid’ support and recalled a friend who told him that ‘God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers’.
Mr Gomes is telling the inquiry how his other children were looking forward to caring for their new brother.
He has shared how Logan was going to be his superstar and X-Box ‘gaming buddy’.
‘He might not be here physically, but he will always be here in our hearts,’ he said.
‘I know he’s here with God right next to me giving me strength and courage to take this forward.’
Mr Gomes has shared a picture of the infant with the inquiry.
Marcio Gomes has told how his son Logan was due to be born on 24 August but died in the Grenfell tragedy.
‘That evening I was fortunate enough to hold my son,’ Mr Gomes has told the inquiry, adding that he hoped ‘it was all a bad dream’ as he wished and prayed ‘for any kind of miracle’.
Mr Gomes has told how he hoped to raise his son as a Liverpool fan and had built a nursery for the child himself.
Marcio Gomes, the father of the youngest victim to die in the fire, is now addressing the inquiry joined by his wife Andreia, three lawyers and a key worker.
Mr Gomes has brought a poem that hung on the wall he had set aside for his unborn son that reads: ‘Twinkle twinkle, little star, do you know how loved you are?’
The inquiry has heard how for 43 years Grenfell Tower provided homes for thousands of Londoners.
The tragedy on June 14 last year was sparked when a fire broke out in the kitchen of flat 16 on the fourth floor before spreading through the exterior cladding to devastate the tower.
The bereaved will today present their tributes in a variety of ways, including statements and films about their loved ones.
The inquiry is now sharing pictures of the victims whose relatives have chosen to grieve in private.
The first of the families has been invited to speak shortly.
The retired judge chairing the inquiry has called the blaze the ‘single greatest tragedy to befall this city since the end of the Second World War’.
‘The sight of the building engulfed in flames is imprinted on the minds of the nation,’ he added.’
He said it was fitting that the opening hearings into the tragedy will be dedicated to the fire’s victims and called for a ‘lasting tribute to the dead’.
There will now be 72 seconds of silence to remember the dead.
The beginning of the public inquiry will be ‘extremely emotional’ as nine days of testimony start today.
Sky News is reporting that the inquiry is drawing inspiration from the action taken by families in the aftermath of the Hillsborough football disaster.
Today will reportedly begin remembering the youngest victim of the fire, Logan Gomes. Staff are on site to provide support for the bereaved.
After testimonials lawyers will move the inquiry to Holborn for expert testimony and forensics investigation.
Council leader arrives for phase one of the inquiry
The leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, Elizabeth Campbell, and her deputy Kim
Taylor-Smith have arrived for the first day of commemorative hearings, which will be streamed live on YouTube at the link above.
Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire this morning, the Hackney MP cited the inquiry into institutionalised racism in the Metropolitan Police after the black teenager was murdered by racists in 1993.
As the first phase of the inquiry today gets underway, campaign group Grenfell United says it marks ‘the beginning of a long road to justice and truth’.
A spokesman said: ‘The truth must prevail. We must get justice for the lives lost and the pain the community has suffered. Change must come from this inquiry so everyone is safe in their homes and no community is ever treated in the way we were before and after the fire.’
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