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Kincora: Amnesty welcomes Home Affairs Committee recommendation for inclusion in UK abuse inquiry

Amnesty International has welcomed the recommendation by the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee that the Kincora Boys' Home in east Belfast should be included in a Westminster-ordered child abuse inquiry.

Amnesty has been leading the campaign for the inclusion of the home and repeated its call in a submission to the Committee in advance of Tuesday's pre-appointment hearing for New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard, who has been named by Home Secretary Theresa May as the new Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

In the Committee's report, published at midnight, it specifically recommended that Kincora be included within the scope of the inquiry:

"We recommend that the scope of the inquiry be extended to include cases of abuse in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where there is reason to believe that material relevant to the case might be held by the UK Government. This would include cases such as the Kincora Boys' Home."

Amnesty International's Northern Ireland Programme Director, Patrick Corrigan, said:

“The recommendation by the Home Affairs Committee is good news for all those who want the full truth of Kincora to be finally revealed and bad news for those who prefer that this murky affair stays secret.

“The Home Affairs Committee has demonstrated its willingness to listen to victims and politicians of all parties in Northern Ireland who have backed our call on Kincora.

“As we first said in July last year, nothing less than the inclusion of the Kincora home in this inquiry is liable to see the truth finally arrived at, and justice finally delivered. 

“Significant progress has been made in the last six months. The Home Secretary has conceded the principle that allegations of state involvement in the paedophile ring at Kincora should be investigated and agreed last month that the Official Secrets Act should be suspended to allow former military intelligence officers to give evidence.

“We hope that she will now heed the recommendation of the Home Affairs Committee that Kincora should be investigated alongside allegations of establishment involvement in child abuse rings elsewhere in the UK.

“We have written to Justice Goddard asking for her support on investigating Kincora and will pursue the matter further with both her and the government.”

Three senior care staff at the east Belfast children’s home were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys, but it is feared that there were many more victims and abusers during the period 1960 to 1980.

Allegations have persisted that a paedophile ring at Kincora was linked to the British intelligence services. Two former military intelligence officers have alleged that the security services blocked police investigation of the child abuse in the 1970s.

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