Historical child abuse inquiry to investigate 35 NI institutions

22 February 2013

The Chairman of the state inquiry into historical child abuse in Northern Ireland has revealed that 35 institutions will be examined as part of the inquiry.

A statutory inquiry has been set up by the Northern Ireland Executive to investigate historical institutional child abuse in institutions run by the state and church, and those owned by the private sector or voluntary bodies from 1922 to 1995.

Sir Anthony Hart, Chairman of the inquiry has revealed that 35 residential facilities will be investigated; 15 state-run children's homes, 13 institutions run by Catholic Church orders, 4 borstals or training schools.  In addition 3 institutions run by Protestant churches or voluntary organisations will also be investigated.

To date over 175 people contacted the inquiry and so far 89 of these have been interviewed to outline their experiences in care.  As a result of allegations made by those interviewed the 35 institutions listed above have been identified for investigation and more could follow if further claims are made by other victims.

An acknowledgement forum panel of four members is the first point of contact for anyone who wants to relay their experiences to the inquiry.  Those who come forward may limit their engagement to the forum or can give evidence to the inquiry's lawyers in the public phase of the investigation.

The acknowledgement forum panel will eventually produce a report to inquiry chair Sir Anthony Hart detailing the various experiences recounted to them in a way that will preserve anonymity.

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