May Comments 2016

ANON May 31st, 2016 @ 11:42 AM

Historic abuse inquiry to examine claims about Kincora Boys' Home…

The inquiry is handling claims of historic abuse in institutions.

Allegations of abuse at Kincora Boys' Home will be examined when a long-running public inquiry reconvenes later.

The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry will hear evidence from former residents of the notorious east Belfast facility where it is claimed a high ranking paedophile ring preyed on vulnerable boys during the 1970s.

There have also been claims the UK security services knew about the abuse but did nothing to stop it, instead using the information to blackmail and extract intelligence from the influential men, including senior politicians, who were the perpetrators.

The HIA inquiry was set up by the Northern Ireland Executive in 2013 to examine harrowing allegations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse at state and church run residential institutions between 1922 and 1995.

It is being chaired by retired High Court judge Sir Anthony Hart who is sitting alongside Geraldine Doherty, a former head of the Central Council for Education and

Training in Social Work in Scotland, and David Lane, who was director of social services in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England.

Proceedings will begin at Banbridge courthouse with opening address from Sir Anthony.

Barrister and junior counsel to the inquiry Joseph Aiken, will then provide a detailed overview of the Kincora Boys' Home before witness evidence is heard over the next three to four weeks.

In 1981, three senior care workers at Kincora were jailed for abusing boys one of whom, William McGrath, was believed to have been an MI5 agent.

Campaigners had hoped to have Kincora included in the nationwide child abuse probe chaired by New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard because the HIA does not have the power to compel witnesses.

However a legal challenge to overturn the Government's refusal was rejected as "premature" by a High Court judge last month.

An appeal was also turned down.

The HIA is now in its 15th module and by the time it concludes public evidence sessions this summer, more than 450 witnesses will have provided oral testimony.

Sir Anthony is expected to submit his findings to MLAs at Stormont by early next year.

ANON May 30th, 2016 @ 12:45 PM

1/2...More than 130 children missing from State care units in 2015

Last year, 137 children went missing from State care; 42 from the western region, 78 in Dublin mid-Leinster and 32 in the southern region of the country.

In 2014, 163 children went missing – 53 in the western region, 78 in Dublin mid-Leinster and 32 in the southern region.

A Tusla spokeswoman said all children identified as missing in 2014 and 2015 were accounted for and none remained missing

In response to a freedom of information (FoI) request by The Irish Times for records from all regions, Tusla said it did not have information on the numbers in Dublin northeast because “this information is not collected or recorded”.

Tusla said the figures for Dublin northeast were not available as “they are currently not collected at a regional level.”

“However each area within that region has systems and information regarding missing children.

This information is used for care planning and supporting young people at an individual level. For the purpose of the Fo

I request no new files can be created and therefore cannot be provided for that region,” the spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman said Tusla was currently developing a national system to collect this data on a routine basis.

ANON May 30th, 2016 @ 12:42 PM

2/2“...This information will routinely be publicised as part of Tusla’s regular activity and performance reports,” she said.

Children who are reported missing from care are recognised as being among the most vulnerable in society and the Garda and Tusla work together on such cases.

A child in care is considered missing when their whereabouts are unknown and an absence management plan indicates concerns for the child’s safety.

This is distinct from children in care who return late and do not inform their staff or carers, or children who walk out without permission.

When a child in care is missing, a missing-child-from-care Garda report form is completed and sent to an Garda Síochána.

Reports of this nature are treated by gardaí as a high-risk missing person incident.

Children’s Rights Alliance chief executive Tanya Ward said it was “surprising” this information was not collected or recorded on children who go missing from State care in the Dublin northeast region.

“Such children are extremely vulnerable and the joint protocol for missing children in care says that social workers, carers and the gardaí must keep a record of actions when a child goes missing.

It may be that the information is collected by area and not regionally in this part of the country. Record keeping is normally looked at by Hiqa,” she said.

ANON May 28th, 2016 @ 12:46 PM

1/2...Kincora abuse victim loses Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry appeal…

An abuse survivor has lost his legal battle over the scope of an imminent inquiry into a paedophile ring at a notorious Belfast care home.

The Court of Appeal today upheld a ruling that the examination into claims of state collusion in the Kincora scandal should remain within the current remit of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA)

Lawyers for Gary Hoy, 54, a former resident at the home, argued the investigation being chaired by Sir Anthony Hart lacks the power to properly scrutinise allegations that child abuse at the home throughout the 1970s was covered up to protect an intelligence-gathering operation.

But senior judges dismissed his bid to compel the Secretary of State to order a human rights-compliant probe.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan held that the HIA is entitled to proceed with its scrutiny of systemic failings.

However, he stressed that any truth in claims that boys at Kincora were abused and prostituted for interests of national security must be exposed.

Sir Declan said: "As a society we must not repeat the errors of the institutions and should remember our obligations to the children.

"If the suggestion is not true the rumour and suspicion surrounding this should be allayed."

As the verdict was delivered Mr Hoy shouted out from the public gallery before walking out of court.

"If your grandchildren were in Kincora would you not want justice?" he asked.

His legal team had contended that the present arrangements cannot compel the security services to hand over documents or testify.

Instead, they sought a declaration that Mr Hoy is entitled to an inquiry that meets his entitlements to freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

ANON May 28th, 2016 @ 12:44 PM

2/2..It is alleged that the security service shielded and blackmailed child sex abusers involved in the abuse at Kincora.

Calls for full scrutiny of the suspected systemic molestation and prostitution of vulnerable youngsters has grown ever since three senior staff were jailed in 1981 for abusing boys in their care.

It has long been suspected that well-known figures within the British establishment, including high-ranking civil servants and senior military officers, were involved.

Last month the High Court dismissed Mr Hoy's initial legal challenge after finding it was premature.

But with Sir Anthony's tribunal set to begin examining Kincora next week, an urgent appeal against the verdict was launched.

Counsel for the HIA responded by insisting it has been given unrestricted access to information and documents from government departments and agencies.

MI5 and MI6 have also agreed to be central participants at the inquiry, he disclosed.

Judges were also told that Sir Anthony has vowed to "raise the red card" should he encounter any resistance to examining what went on at Kincora.

In his ruling Sir Declan pointed out that the HIA's work may help to satisfy any Article 3 obligations in the case.

If any further investigative steps are required the responsibility lies with the State rather than the Inquiry, he added.

Dismissing the appeal, the Lord Chief Justice continued: "This society has been rocked to its core by the shocking disclosure of the abuse of children in this community over many years.

"Just as shocking has been the manner in which the institutions to which some of the abusers belonged sought to protect the institutions rather than the children."

Confirming the HIA is entitled to continue with its planned investigation, he said: "That dos not in any way detract from the need to ensure that our obligation to these children are satisfied."

ANON May 26th, 2016 @ 03:01 PM

1/3...Victoria White: Victor Stevenson's memorial is justice for Westbank Orphanage survivors…

Why did the primary schools accept that the Westbank children all had the surname, ‘Mathers’? asks Victoria White

His family's terrible grief testifies to the fact that Victor Stevenson's life was a great gift.

Victor Stevenson is bitterly grieved today by his loving wife Beverly and his children Sam and Emma.

He will be buried this afternoon in Clandeboye Cemetery, Bangor, Co Down, after a ceremony reflecting his worth as a human beloved of the human family, though his birth was deemed, he told me, “a disaster” by his family of origin.

The contrast between the beginning and the end, at only 57, of this gentle man’s life will be stark because of the humanity of the man who adopted Victor from the notorious Westbank Orphanage in Co Wicklow 50 years ago.

Victor told me how this happened and his words are burned into my brain.

Paraded as a singing munchkin on the stage of a Gospel Hall in the North by Westbank’s supremo, Adeline Mathers, he ran off the stage and clutched the trousered leg of a man standing in the congregation.

The child must have seen a special quality in the man and he was right. Victor’s future adoptive father looked down at the child and resolved not to abandon him.

The child was filthy. As Victor later said, “I hadn’t been changed in weeks.” The man resolved to take him away from the hell of Adeline Mathers’s Westbank home for a holiday in relative heaven.

As the holiday drew to a close a Methodist minister came to visit and as he was leaving, asked about the extra child.

By coincidence, he knew the child’s birth family, a family called Kingston from Cork. So an adoption process began which lasted more than two years and ended up with Victor’s adoptive father bundling a crying child into his car outside the Westbank Orphanage and driving him off to a brighter future north of the border.

Victor seems to have settled so fully into his new life in the heart of a loving family that he didn’t engage with his past at all. He married and had his own family.

He told me it was only when he happened upon an article on Protestant orphanages in this newspaper four years ago that he began to connect with the truth of his own past in the abusive Westbank Orphanage.

ANON May 26th, 2016 @ 02:57 PM

2/3…I can’t be glad this connection happened through an article I wrote because I don’t know whether it made him happier or more stressed. I would only be glad if it had changed anything for the surviving victims of Adeline Mathers’s Westbank regime and it hasn’t. Not yet.

Victor Stevenson goes to his grave today without the recognition from this State of the suffering he endured as a child which he craved for himself and for others. Recognition was all he wanted.

That Westbank was an abusive environment first came to light in 2011 in Mike Peelo’s RTÉ documentary, Auntie’s Family Secrets, which chronicled children being beaten up, whipped with electric cables, being injected with unknown substances, and being made to eat dog biscuits. Stevenson recalled a boy who was beaten so badly he had to stay in bed in an outhouse.

The other children were forbidden to bring him food and to this day break down remembering the fear they felt as they brought scraps to the boy.

This was abuse which hid in plain sight. Why did the doctor not ask questions about the beaten boy who visited his surgery? Why did the primary schools such as St Patrick’s, Greystones, Delgany National School and St Laurences, Greystones, accept that the Westbank children all had the surname, “Mathers”?

Colm Begley only discovered that was not his surname when Newpark Comprehensive School refused to accept it; my school, St Andrews College, accepted the Mathers surname for the boys who attended, as did Rathdown School for the girls.

I went to school with Westbankers because St Andrews College, a fee-paying Protestant school, kindly waived the fees in respect of the boys.

But when one of them fell or was pushed off a train on his way home from school one day and was left brain-damaged for life he was never mentioned in school again.

He is “disremembered” by most staff and students and there was no enquiry.
“Awntie” was what a girl at my primary school used to call Adeline Mathers although she pronounced all her other words in a Dublin accent. Four decades later her tone of deep, dull dread still sends a shiver up my spine.

She was the girl with the unexplained jaundice. What was going on there?

ANON May 26th, 2016 @ 02:53 PM

3/3…A woman trained to ask questions, I asked none regarding these erstwhile classmates in nearly two decades as a journalist.

When I did, I was cut off by several of my Protestant connections and am ostentatiously snubbed by others.

We are a small, tight-knit community and like other such communities Travellers, Irish-speakers we usually do our dirty washing in private.

Unlike other such communities, we always succeed, because neither state nor society asks any questions of Protestants.

The Ryan Commission into abuse at industrial schools and orphanages, which reported in 2002, included no Protestant homes.

The Murphy Commission into Mother and Baby Homes and Certain Related Matters, which is now sitting, includes the Bethany Home in its remit but not Westbank the destination of many Bethany babies despite then tánaiste Joan Burton’s reassurance in the Dáil in January 2015 that “cases from institutions such as Westbank will not be excluded”.

I have seen Judge Yvonne Murphy’s letter of last June to Victor Stevenson and can only imagine the heartbreak it must have caused.

She encloses the terms of reference for the Commission, informs him that Westbank is not one of the homes to be investigated and provides him with a list of the included homes, adding “If you think you were in one of the listed homes feel free to contact us again.”

Judge Murphy takes shelter in the terms of reference given to the Commission by Government. But the Commission has the power to ask the Government to expand the terms of reference to include Westbank and it has not done so.

The Westbank Trustees hold all documents relating to the Westbank inmates, because the Protestant Adoption Society (PACT) handed them over when Mike Peelo began researching his programme.

The Murphy Commission could compel them to hand them back if Westbank were within their remit.

Victor Stevenson knew he was born in St Finbarre’s Hospital in Cork and was taken to the Braemor Rescue Home for Protestant Girls on the Old Blackrock Road but he called it “a crushing thing” that he had no documents relating to identity or early life. It was as if, he said, “I didn’t exist”. Beverly, Sam, and Emma Stevenson’s terrible grief today testifies not only that Victor existed but that his life was a great gift.

Every life is a gift, from Inishannon to Idomeni, from Raqqa to Rathmelton and every life “disremembered” destroys others.

That’s why Victor Stevenson’s me

ANON May 26th, 2016 @ 02:50 PM

1/2...Paedophile principal released after just 18 months in jail…

Daily Mass-going paedophile school principal Patrick Barry has been released from prison back into the community in west Clare after serving only 18 months in jail.

Described by one of his 11 victims in court as “a vicious wolf lying in wait” to abuse children who came to Moyasta NS, the 82-year-old was initially sentenced at Ennis Circuit Court to 11 years with five of those suspended in November 2014.

However, at the Court of Criminal Appeal last May, this was reduced to a five-year term with the final three years suspended.

On his release from prison in recent days, Barry has returned to his home place at the west Clare resort of Kilkee and has already made contact with Kilrush Garda Station as part of his obligations as a registered sex offender.

Five of the 11 victims spoke out after the Court of Criminal Appeal decision hitting out at the ruling as”‘unjust and wrong”.

Barry, from Well Rd, Kilkee, abused 11 school girls at Moyasta NS over a 21-year period between 1964 and 1985 and has never shown any remorse for the assaults committed in the classroom at the two-teacher school.

The girls were aged between nine and 13 when the abuse took place at Moyasta NS with one of the victims describing Mr Barry as a vicious wolf lying in wait for her every day. She said he “terrorised and abused me daily for years”.

Barry was found guilty of 59 counts of indecent assault and four of the victims in the case were sisters that attended the school where he taught 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th class.

ANON May 26th, 2016 @ 02:48 PM

2/2...At the Court of Criminal Appeal, Ms Justice Garrett Sheehan said the trial judge had erred in locating the gravity of the offending at the starting point of 11 years imprisonment.

Bearing in mind his age, health problems and the “significant contribution” he made to his community on retirement, Mr Justice Sheehan said the court would suspend the final three years of the five-year sentence.

However, in response to the sentence being reduced, one of the women commented at the time: “I think it belittles us as victims and would almost encourage other ‘would be predators’ that it is worth the risk with a slap on the wrist like this.

She added: “We were innocent, helpless children supposed to be in a protected environment but instead were subjected to this predator every single day for years.
No sentence could be long enough to get the correct justice here but to shorten it is just wrong and unjust.”

Another victim said: “I am gutted by the reduction in his sentence.

I had to sit during three weeks of evidence at his trial and relive my worst nightmare of a childhood ruined by this man’s abuse.”

She said: “The scars still remain after 40 years. One of the hardest things for me to understand is how his ‘significant contribution’ to his community held such sway in the court of appeal.

“In my opinion, these contributions can never outweigh the significant damage and hurt I have have been left with by Pat Barry’s abuse.

She added: “One consolation I have is that Pat Barry was found guilty by a unanimous verdict and is a registered sex offender.”

Another said that as a victim of Mr Barry “this predator has shown no remorse for his behaviour and despite having been found guilty on all charges continues, it would seem, to claim his innocence”.

ANON May 25th, 2016 @ 12:58 PM

Suspected abuse referrals 'swamp social worker staff'…

One in five of all children born in a single year in England and Wales were referred to social services before they reached age five, research suggests.

A study of children born in 2009-10 suggests up to 150,000 pre-school children were reported over fears of abuse or neglect, most unnecessarily.

Only 25% of referrals were formally investigated while 10% led to protection plans, the study said.

The University of Central Lancashire said staff were wasting their time.

The researchers said while public and professional vigilance was welcome, the number of alerts received by social services meant staff were wasting their time on innocent families, and making it harder to find the children who are at risk.

It follows a series of high profile cases where serious child abuse was missed by social workers.

The researchers used data from Freedom of Information Act requests to 150 councils, with 114 responding.

They found half a million children were born in those areas and 115,735 were referred to social services by last year.

When that was extrapolated across England and Wales, it suggested more than 150,000 children born that year had been brought to the attention of child protection teams by the age of five.

Social workers are under intense pressure to make sure they do not miss any child at risk, and end up checking up more of the warnings they receive than is necessary, the research suggests.

Lead researcher Professor Andy Bilson said other data showed how much time referrals took up.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that the majority of these concerns probably were not ones that were founded.

One example of a referral that did not make it beyond an initial assessment included a call from a neighbour who said a father was yelling at his children and might be taking drugs.

"Many of these lead to nothing," he said.

"We have this mantra that says it's everybody's job to safeguard children but what we are doing doesn't actually safeguard children.

"Creating these huge numbers of referrals of concern is like creating a huge, extra big haystack in which we are trying to find the needle of the children who are really at risk."

He added: "If you are a parent and someone has logged a complaint about you, it doesn't matter if you aren't formally investigated, you will still feel that you are under threat."

ANON May 24th, 2016 @ 01:11 PM

LEST WE FORGET:

Former Westbank orphanage resident Victor Stevenson dies suddenly…

A former resident at the Westbank orphanage in Wicklow, has died suddenly after a short illness.

Stevenson was born in 1959 to a single mother and at three months of age, he was transferred to the Protestant Mayil (later Westbank) orphanage in Bray.

Very few children were ever adopted from the institution and survivors say they were beaten with electric flexes and frequently allowed to go hungry.

Children from the home were often used in Northern Ireland as child labourers on farms.

The 57-year-old had worked for years campaigning to highlight the horrors faced by himself and others as children in the institution.

Speaking two years ago about his time there, he recalled a boy who was beaten so badly he had to remain in bed in a filthy outhouse.

Other children at the orphanage were told that he was, under no circumstances, to be fed.

To this day, former residents break down when they relate how, under great fear, they squirrelled scraps of food to the unfortunate boy. It is a fear they feel to this day.

Children at the home were frequently beaten and allowed to go hungry”.

Campaigner Niall Meehan confirmed Stevenson’s passing, which came after a short illness. He said it “came as a great shock” to the man’s friends.

Victor considered himself “one of the lucky ones”, according to Meehan because his adoptive father was able to extract him from the orphanage at age seven.

“Victor made sure that the voices of others were heard before reluctantly speaking of his own journey through life,” Meehan said of his friend.

With former residents, Victor demanded that the government add the Braemar Rescue Home for Protestant Girls, Westbank Orphanage and the Nursery Rescue Society to the terms of reference of the currently sitting Mother and Baby Home Commission of Inquiry.

“In Victor’s memory we will continue to press that demand.”

Victor Stevenson is remembered as a true friend and champion of all who suffered the physical, psychological and emotional ill-effects of prejudice and of ignorance.

He is survived by his wife Beverly and their two children.

Victor’s funeral will take place at 2pm on Thursday 26 May from John Grey’s Funeral Home, Bangor, Co Down

ANON May 24th, 2016 @ 12:55 PM

'Child slave' receives Nottinghamshire County Council apology…

A man who said he was forced to work as a child slave after being taken into foster care has received an apology from his local authority.

Terry Lodge, from Bassetlaw, said he was forced to work in a foundry, when he should have been in school.

Bassetlaw MP John Mann, who raised the case in parliament, paid tribute to Mr Lodge for his bravery.

Nottinghamshire County Council said the quality of care he received was "unsatisfactory".

Mr Lodge said he was sent out to work on a farm when he was aged eight, and sent to work in a foundry when he was 11.

The 55-year-old said he was forced to work by his original foster parents, up until the age of 15, and was beaten and sometimes starved while in their care.

But, when he complained he said no-one came to help.

Mr Lodge previously told the BBC that his childhood and adult life had been "spoiled".

Steve Edwards, the council's service director for children's social care, met Mr Lodge to apologise after the authority concluded he "suffered harm" after being placed in care more than 40 years ago.

He said: "There were opportunities to protect him which were sadly not acted upon.

"I would encourage anyone who has any concerns about the way they were treated while in care to come forward, no matter how long ago it was."

Mr Mann said: "For too long people like Mr Lodge were not believed when they brought forward their allegations.

"It is right that Nottinghamshire County Council has now formally apologised and I pay tribute to the bravery of Terry Lodge in bringing this to light."

ANON May 24th, 2016 @ 12:52 PM

Birmingham's children's services will be run by a trust after years of failings which saw the department named "a national disgrace" by inspectors.

Ofsted has rated the service "inadequate" since 2009 and improvement has "not gone far enough, fast enough", the Department for Education has said.

Child deaths include Khyra Ishaq, seven, who starved and Keanu Williams, two, who was murdered by his mother.

The council said the voluntary decision will be finalised by the cabinet.

An authority spokesman said: "This is something we have been discussing for some time with the Department for Education (DfE) and this is the next logical step on our improvement journey."

He said the council would work with partners on how the trust will operate but the authority wanted to keep control of the design and delivery of services.

The government appointed Lord Warner as an external commissioner to oversee the running of children's services in the city in March 2014.

Since then, he found there had been "significant improvements" but more was needed.

Andrew Christie from Westminster City Council replaced Lord Warner in December 2015 to continue a three-year review of the department.

ANON May 24th, 2016 @ 12:49 PM

Child abuse victims make emotional appeal to Foster over right to compensation…

Victims of historical child abuse plan to hold a dramatic picket at Stormont if the new Executive doesn't move imminently to pay them compensation.

They are making an emotional appeal directly to First Minister Arlene Foster "as a woman and a mother" to take action to end their trauma.

The DUP is refusing to address the compensation issue until the inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) sends its report to the Executive next year.

The victims have bought baby and young children's clothes and plan to stand outside Parliament Buildings holding up the items.

Margaret McGuckin of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA) said they were "sick of hearing empty, well-meaning words" from politicians and wanted compensation for what they had suffered.

"We have bought items of clothing little shoes, bonnets, dresses and trousers to symbolise how young and defenceless we were when we were placed in care," she said.

"Our innocence was taken from us in those homes. We were robbed of our childhood. We suffered sexual and physical abuse and cruelty beyond belief.

"There are now plenty of female MLAs at Stormont.

Many of these women, including Arlene Foster, are mothers.

We are asking them to look at their own children and imagine what it would be like if their kids were put through the horrors that we were."

ANON May 24th, 2016 @ 12:46 PM

2/2...Ms McGuckin said that compensation for victims must be included in the Programme for Government which the new Executive, elected tomorrow, will draw up.

She said that Sinn Fein had already agreed but the DUP had not.

DUP voter Cyril Glass, who was abused in Rathgael Training School, last month wrote to Mrs Foster begging for action on compensation, but he described the party's response as "extremely disappointing".

He told the Belfast Telegraph: "I haven't even had the courtesy of a reply. The DUP is the only one of the main parties not supporting interim payments for victims."

A party spokesman said: "The DUP was central in establishing the inquiry into historical institutional abuse. We have supported it at every turn and continue to support victims.

At the time the inquiry was established we said we would consider the report in full when the work was completed and would then decide on a way forward.

We recognise the deeply sensitive nature of this issue, but believe this is the correct way to proceed."

Ms McGuckin is requesting an urgent meeting with the First and Deputy First Ministers. Appealing to Mrs Foster to change her party's position, she said: "In a Belfast Telegraph article recently, Arlene spoke movingly of the parable of the Good Samaritan and the need to help the less fortunate.

"As someone who shares the DUP leader's deep Christian faith, I'm asking her to be a Good Samaritan to us, to reach out and help those whose lives have been broken." Victims have presented the model scheme which they want the Executive to adopt.
It comprises of a common experience payment for all former residents of homes where abuse was endemic.

ANON May 24th, 2016 @ 12:44 PM

3/3...This would include a base payment of £10,000 plus an additional £3,000 for each year they were in the institution. There would also be individually tested payments where a claimant's particular abuse would be assessed.

The HIA inquiry is due to report to the Executive next January but its chairman, Sir Anthony Hart, has already said he will be recommending compensation.

Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International urged the new Executive to start arranging the common experience payment immediately.

"There is no need to wait another seven months for Sir Anthony Hart to send his report to Stormont.

The time to plan and budget for the scheme is now, when the Programme for Government is being agreed."

Ms McGuckin said that victims were sick of having to fight for everything.

"We have to tell our stories in public, to constantly expose ourselves, in order to be heard. That isn't right," she said.

"Millions and millions of pounds has been spent on the Hart inquiry but we are kept waiting for a minimal payment. Money won't make up for the damage done to us but it would be an acknowledgement of our trauma.

Time isn't something that many victims have. We are talking about people who are often struggling to just get through the day, who are mentally ill or are in the grips of addiction because of what they endured.

"I have many good friends who haven't survived. Cyril Glass's twin brother, who was also abused, is one of those who hasn't lived to see justice. We can't wait any longer."

ANON May 23rd, 2016 @ 11:50 AM

1/2...Mother and Baby Commission yet to decide on extending inquiry…

The Mother and Baby Homes Commission has yet to decide whether to ask for an extension of its remit to examine other institutions.

It comes as adoption groups have reiterated calls for a number of adoption agencies as well as a range of State and private maternity homes to be included in the investigation.

Under its terms of reference, the Mother and Baby Homes Commission will investigate how unmarried mothers and their babies were treated between 1922 and 1998 at 14 State-linked religious institutions.

The three-year inquiry which has a €23.5m budget will examine mother and baby homes, county homes, vaccine trials on children, and illegal adoptions where babies were sent abroad.

In a statement to the Irish Examiner, the Commission said it “not yet made any decision about recommending any extension of its terms of reference”.

St Patrick’s Guild has been commonly cited by campaigners as a glaring omission from the inquiry. The agency holds 13,500 adoption files one quarter of all adoption files in the country.

Last year, the Irish Examiner revealed that the agency was excluded from the scope of the inquiry despite the Government being told in June 2013 by an Adoption Authority (AAI) delegation that the agency was aware of “several hundred” illegal birth registrations.

ANON May 23rd, 2016 @ 11:48 AM

2/2...A note of a meeting between two nuns from the agency and representatives of the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, on February 3 last year also revealed that St Patrick’s Guild’s records contained “some illegal registrations” and that “full details are available on the majority of cases”.

The AAI also named St Rita’s private nursing home also excluded from the inquiry as a “huge source of illegal registrations”.

Claire McGettrick of the Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) and Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR) said she expected the Commission to add to the current “shortlist” of institutions it is examining.

“The legislation makes an express provision for the Commission to add to the initial list and it has resourced the Commission well with a team of historians led by Prof Mary Daly, president of the Royal Irish Academy.”

“Historians realise there were many institutions involved in the Mother and Baby home sector in Ireland JFMR and ARA have given a list to the Commission of some 170 institutions, agencies and individuals which our organisations and academic historians are also investigating,” she said.

Paul Redmond of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes said that it was a “national disgrace” that so many people were being excluded from the inquiry when so little effort is required to include everyone.

Benson May 22nd, 2016 @ 05:55 PM

These are the names of the women & children who were buried within the grounds of High Park, Drumcondra & later exhumed when the nun's sold the land to developers as they had lost a large amount of money in G.P.A shares. Of 133 bodies only 75 death certificates were found to exist. It was & remains a criminal offence in the state of Ireland to fail to register a birth that occurs in one's premises. All but one of the bodies was cremated & re-interred in Glasnevin cemetery.

THESE ARE THE NAMES OF THE CHILDREN AS FOLLOWS:

Thomas A O Neill 7/01/1943

James McCormack 24/01/1945

James Christopher Doran 2/06/1944

Brigid walsh 4/09/1943

Margareth Mary Caffrey 5/07/1943

Thomas Matthews 3/02/1947

John Haslam 7/05/1947(3 years old)

Teresa Haslam 7/05/1947(19 months old)

John Malachy Boyle 23/10/1944

Philomena Frances Byrne 13/11/1943

Michael Corry 4/11/1942

Noel Peter Brown 26/09/1941

Patrick Lyons. 27/03/1947, DIED 11/05/1947

Margareth Venables 14/11/1942

Margareth Mary Conway 5/05/1936, died 8/08/1936

Anthony Keating 13/03/1947 age 3 weeks

James McCormack 22/04/1947

Laurence and Mary Waters (who both died on) 6/05/1942

Damien John Sullivan 14/03/1944

Lilian and Kathleen Watters 6/06/1936

Rosaleen Donnelly 20/12/1943 age 2 years

John Augustine Kearns 17/03/1931

Anna Bernad

Benson May 22nd, 2016 @ 05:54 PM

◦Taken Out: Where are the individual figures for each Institute? Where were the children taken to? Where did they go? In my personal experience & time spent at Artane, I can remember maybe a couple at most, & those I remember were placed in Artane on a short-term basis anyway due to family crisis. Where are the records?



◦Fostered: Where are the individual figures for each Institute? Where are the records?


◦Etc: But the most bizarre comes under the heading of: [ Etc. ] !!!! Can you imagine children coming under the category of etc!?!



Some children became ill & died in the Institutes, many people want to know what happened, I want to know why so many children never came home, why family's & School friends are still to this day asking what happened to them? Your input is very much appreciated. Now is the time to try & find the answers.

Is there someone you knew who never came home?

Do you know what happened to them?

Can you help?

................. (2 of 2) - Names of the dead to follow

Benson May 22nd, 2016 @ 05:53 PM

FACT, Many children who were placed into Residential Institutes were never heard of again, they never came home. It was as if they had been spirited away, vanished from the face of the earth & this indeed is most odd as it states in the "KENNEDY REPORT" published in 1970 that 238 children absconded from these hell-holes over a period of 19 years & were never traced or found at all, this is in itself most strange as the majority of these Residential Institutes were so remote that it beggars belief how small children could escape, remain at large & ultimately never be discovered. I have tried to obtain the exact amount of children that absconded from each individual Institute, but to no avail, no answers forthcoming - WHY? Please see a quote from the Kennedy Report below to show why it is so strange that there are no records kept anywhere for these missing children.

KENNEDY REPORT 1970

Reformatory & Industrial Schools

Part of the Children's Act 1908 - 1947 states:

"Any child that absconds & is still at large for six days, means a report must be made to the local Garda station, Education Department, School Inspectorate & a copy of this report must be kept by each of the above mentioned. The Institute where the child has absconded from must also keep a record".

Below is a breakdown] of figures that account for the release of those discharged from Industrial Schools between 1949 - 1969. Now my questions about this table are as follows:

◦Immigration: Where are the individual figures for each Institute? Up do date I have yet to come across one single person who fits into this category. Where are the records?

◦Medical: Where are the individual figures for each Institute? We find this term "medical" unacceptable because it covers such a wide area. Why were they taken out exactly? Where were they taken to? Where are the records?

◦Adopted: Where are the individual figures for each Institute? To our knowledge adoption in Ireland did not become a legal practice until 1952, yet many people have since come forward asking the question "how did they get from an Institute in Ireland to live in far away country's such as America, Australia etc?" What was the procedure for moving children out of Ireland at that time? In the 1940's Eamon de Valera stated that Irish children were not to become boat children sent to foreign countries, so again how was this practice still possible? Where are the records?

....................... (1 of 2)

ANON May 21st, 2016 @ 12:38 PM

1/2...Security services 'to play full part in Kincora probe'…

MI5 and MI6 have agreed to be central participants at an imminent inquiry into a paedophile ring at a notorious Belfast care home, the Court of Appeal heard.

Counsel for the probe into the Kincora scandal also insisted it has been given unrestricted access to information and documents from government departments and agencies.

The disclosure came during continuing legal action by one victim over claims of state collusion and the cover-up of sexual abuse throughout the 1970s in order to protect an intelligence-gathering operation.

Gary Hoy (54) is seeking to overturn a ruling that the examination should remain within the current remit of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) sitting in Banbridge.

His legal team claim that investigation, being chaired by Sir Anthony Hart, lacks the power to properly scrutinise what went on at the home in east Belfast.

They contend that the present arrangements cannot compel the security services to hand over documents or testify.

Instead, they are seeking a declaration that Mr Hoy is entitled to an inquiry that meets his entitlements to freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

It is alleged the security service shielded and blackmailed those involved in child sex abuse at Kincora. Calls for scrutiny of the abuse have grown since three senior staff were jailed in 1981 for abusing boys in their care.

It has long been suspected that well-known figures within the British establishment, including high-ranking civil servants and senior military officers, were involved.

ANON May 21st, 2016 @ 12:36 PM

2/2...Last month the High Court dismissed Mr Hoy's legal challenge after finding it was premature.

But with Sir Anthony's tribunal set to begin examining Kincora in just over a week, an urgent appeal against the verdict is under way.

Counsel for the HIA, Joseph Aiken, told judges attempts have been made through media commentary to undermine the inquiry's probe into the home.

He said unrestricted access has been given to all documents and information requested or considered relevant.

"If those documents or parts of those documents are not made public then the chairman has made it abundantly clear he will raise the red card," Mr Aiken stressed.

The barrister went on to reveal who will have core participant status, allowing them legal representation at the hearings.

"The Kincora module will also have the PSNI, the Northern Ireland Office, the MoD (Ministry of Defence), the security service MI5, and the secret intelligence service MI6," he confirmed.

"The latter four are non-devolved departments and agencies, they have accepted the designation of core participants before this inquiry and are working to the inquiry's procedures."

The three appeal judges, led by Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, were told there are no plans to have any closed hearings into Kincora.

And Sir Declan emphasised the gravity of the allegations surrounding events at the home.

"If it's the case that children in Northern Ireland were abused in circumstances where public authorities were aware of it and used it for the purpose of gathering or securing information, that is so shocking that it needs to be exposed if it's true," he said.

Reserving judgment in the appeal, Sir Declan pledged to give a decision as soon as possible.

ANON May 20th, 2016 @ 03:05 PM

Kincora sex abuse cover-up a case of systemic failure, court hears…

Alleged state collusion and cover-up of a paedophile ring at a notorious Belfast care home amounts to a systemic failure, the Court of Appeal has heard.

Counsel for one abuse victim argued that the scale of the Kincora scandal, which includes claims of British security service involvement, warrants an investigation that will "vindicate" his human rights.

Gary Hoy (54), is seeking to overturn a verdict that the probe into the home should remain within the remit of a Stormont-commissioned body.