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Former Dons coach James Hird to speak publicly about 'miscarriage of justice'

Travis King  January 12, 2016 7:28 PM

Footy Feed special: the Essendon verdict Matt Thompson wraps up one of the biggest days in the history of the AFL
AFL 2015 Media - Essendon Press Conference 180815

Former Dons coach James Hird

• Eight burning questions about the bans
• What the Dons' round one team could look like
• Timeline: Three years of turmoil for Essendon
• Where are the Essendon 34 now?

MEMBERS of the public can pay $33 to watch former Essendon coach James Hird speak for the first time on the Essendon suspensions. 

The former Bombers coach will appear at 'The Ethics Centre' in Sydney on Sunday night in an interview that will be televised on ABC News.

Earlier on Tuesday, Hird released a brief statement slamming his distress at the guilty verdict and suspensions handed to 34 past and present Essendon players by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In a statement, the former Essendon coach claimed CAS' finding was a "miscarriage of justice".

Twelve current Bombers have been banned for the entire 2016 AFL season, as well as five former Essendon players now at other clubs.

"I am shocked by this decision," Hird said in a statement.

"I firmly believe the players do not deserve this finding.

"They do not deserve to face a 12-month suspension from the sport. This is a miscarriage of justice for 34 young men. 

"I will not be making any further comment today. I intend to make further comment later in the week."

It emerged later on Sunday That comment will come on Sunday evening at the event billed as 'James Hird in Conversation'.

Event organisers boast "after years of confidentiality, Hird will finally reflect on his departure from Essendon, the toll on the players, the investigation, speculation and what was going on at the club."

'The Ethics Centre' describes itself on its website as "an independent not-for-profit organisation that has been working for over 25 years to help people navigate the complexity and uncertainty of difficult ethical issues."

Journalist Tracey Holmes will conduct the interview.

Tickets are on sale on the organisation's website, and those who attend are told they must be in their seats by 7.25pm or they will be locked out.

Tuesday's guilty verdict continues the fallout from Essendon's 2012 supplements program, instigated by Hird and overseen by controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank. 

The Bombers copped the heaviest penalty in AFL history when they were booted from the 2013 finals series, stripped of draft picks and fined $2 million for governance failures.

Hird was also banned for 12 months and, after returning last year, the club legend fell on his sword in August when he resigned amid mounting pressure from poor on-field results.