Friday, July 9, 2010

NI victims of clerical child abuse in Stormont plea

NI victims of clerical child abuse in Stormont plea
Page last updated at 20:22 GMT, Thursday, 8 July 2010 21:22 UK
Children across Ireland were abused in institutions run by religious orders Victims of child abuse within the Catholic Church in NI have delivered a letter to the first and deputy first ministers at Stormont.

They want a compensation fund and an inquiry to be set up.

They have also called for an apology to acknowledge they were wronged by state agencies.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness said they would meet them. But the victims said the Executive should be dealing with the issue more urgently.

A date has not yet been agreed. The ministers' office said safeguarding children was a key priority.

Margaret McGuckin who spent seven years in the care of the Sisters of Nazareth said: "What we do need and for a lot of people, is an inquiry as to how this was allowed to go on.

"Also for a lot of people, who are very old and elderly, compensation has to be set up by the state and the Church, acting together in NI as they did in the Republic.

"People are passing away and they haven't even had anything there to compensate their own families in any way."

In November, MLAs backed an SDLP motion calling for an inquiry into the extent of child abuse in Catholic church and state-run institutions in Northern Ireland.

Thousands of people are understood to have signed the Justice for the Victims of Institutional Abuse in NI petition, which was handed to SDLP MLA Carmel Hanna.

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