Northern Ireland: 'Fr Brendan Smyth abuse just tip of iceberg' - Amnesty warning ahead of Rubane House evidence at Inquiry

The child abuse perpetrated by Fr Brendan Smyth at a former De La Salle Boys' Home, was just the "tip of the iceberg" of abuse carried out at Rubane House, in Kircubbin, Co Down.

That's the warning given by Amnesty International ahead of the start of weeks of witness evidence about the home, at the Historic Institutional Abuse inquiry, which commences this morning at Banbridge Court House.

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International, said: 

"We know that the abuse of Fr Brendan Smyth, as horrific as we know it to be, was only the tip of the iceberg of child sexual abuse carried out at Rubane House.

"From what Amnesty has been told by former boys at the home, and from what the Inquiry has already heard from counsel, we know that child abuse was off the scale at Rubane House. We expect that the following few weeks of witness evidence will reveal some of the most harrowing testimony of abuse yet heard in the course of the inquiry.

"Fr Smyth was only one of many sexual predators who operated at the home. Indeed, at times, it seems that Rubane House was actually being run by known child abusers. That is why this Inquiry is crucial - so that the truth of abuse suffered by children in decades past and deliberately hidden for so long, can finally be revealed."

Note: Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International will be at Banbridge Court House this morning for the opening session of the inquiry witness sessions into Rubane House.

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