Families of victims of the Sousse massacre two years ago today are hoping a coroner’s report on lessons learnt by the tragedy will be released in the coming months.
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, which represents 22 of the 30 Britons killed in the terrorist gun attack in Tunisia on June 26, 2015, is among those to have filed submissions to the coroner.
Tui UK, which booked holidays for the Brits killed when a gunman opened fire on the beach, and the government, have also handed in submissions since the end of the seven-week inquest in February, in which the coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.
A spokesman for Irwin Mitchell said there had been no further information given on exactly when a report might be published, but said: “We would expect the coroner to report back on the submissions.”
The law firm’s clients have already pledged to take civil action against tour operator Tui. They are bringing claims for damages, alleging hotel security was inadequate and guests were not given sufficient warning of the risk of a terrorist attack.
So far, the firm said it is still in the “early stages of civil action”, having written letters of its intentions to the company. No formal court proceedings have taken place.
“We are gathering further evidence and we have written to Tui. The situation is ongoing. Tui continues to deny liability,” said a spokesman.
Irwin Mitchell senior associate Kylie Hutchison said: “Our clients have shown tremendous courage over the past two years as they have sought to find out exactly what happened on that fateful day and whether anything more could have been done to prevent the attack, or limit its impact.
“The seven-week inquest was particularly difficult, sitting through hours of sensitive and often shocking evidence. They now await the Coroner’s report and hope that recommendations will be made to reduce the risk of similar incidents in the future.”
Suzy Richards lost her son Joel, dad Pat and brother Ade in the attack. She has since set up the Smile for Joel charity to raise funds for families of victims of traumatic bereavement as a result of murder or manslaughter.
In a message on the charity’s Facebook page today she urged people “to raise a glass, light a candle for all those that never came home.”
The message also said: “Two years ago today the world changed for all of us; going on holiday, drinking with friends, going to a concert or just taking a stroll across a bridge were all normal safe things to do.
“Today we remember Tunisia. We remember the 38 innocent holiday makers cruelly murdered and the many injured.
“Joel, Ade and Pat were three of the most genuine, loyal and respected guys around. Those that knew them personally feel honoured to have shared their lives, honoured to have been blessed to have those special memories that can never be taken and will never be forgotten.”
Richards, from Wednesbury in the Midlands, said every day continued to be “a colossal struggle”.
She added: “Two years on I remain determined not to let the lives of my son Joel, my dad Pat and my brother Ade be forgotten. I want their names and beautiful caring ways to live on forever through their legacy. I want to make a difference in their name for others who have experienced losing someone they love in such a heart-breaking way. This is why we started Smile for Joel.”
At the time of the inquest, Richards said the process of booking and giving travel advice needed to be reviewed with robust security audits before and during all holidays.
A hearing is scheduled in Tunisia in October as part of a criminal investigation in the country into the massacre.