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Northern Ireland: Open Letter from victims of institutional child abuse

We write as victims and survivors of institutional child abuse, which we suffered in children’s homes across Northern Ireland over many decades.

Today (June 20 2017) marks six months since the publication of the report of the Historic Institutional Abuse inquiry.

We welcomed its main findings – that the State was responsible for widespread and systemic failings, which left us as vulnerable children to suffer physical, sexual and mental abuse in supposed “care” homes.

But six months in, with no devolved government ministers in position to act on the report, its recommendations for apologies, a redress scheme and support services for victims, have gathered dust on Stormont’s shelves.

In that time, the health of many of us and our friends in the victim and survivor groups has deteriorated. Some have sadly passed away, still denied justice to their death beds.

We can wait no longer for action. We are the collateral damage of political failure. Betrayed by government when we were children. Betrayed again in our final years.

We welcome the recent intervention of Sir Anthony Hart, the former Chair of the Inquiry, calling on politicians to act on his report recommendations. To that, we would add that we demand that government sits down with victims and survivors to agree how those recommendations are implemented and improved upon.

We agree with Sir Anthony Hart that if an Executive is not formed, the local parties should “publicly call upon the secretary of state” to take action. Further, the UK government must live up to its responsibilities in helping to finance the necessary redress scheme.

The pain suffered by victims and survivors in retelling their experiences for the Inquiry cannot now be met by silence and inaction.

Signed by 260 victims and survivors of institutional child abuse in Northern Ireland:

Gerry McCann

Jon McCourt

Margaret McGuckin

Cyril Glass

Kevin Brady

Paddy Brady

Martin Brady

Eamon Brady

Francis Furey

Margaret McCloy

Marie Therese Rogers Moloney

Ann Clarke

Carol Frankllin

Catherine Myers

George McCann

Ross McCann

Liam McCarville

Anthony McMahon

Marie McIlkenny

Kevin Mclkenny

Bernadette Wade

Mary Jo Taylor

Hannah Allsopp

Kathleen Allsopp

Jean Allsopp

Patricia Stewart

Betsy Willock

Angelina McIlvernon

Gerauldine Gribbon

Ann Casement

Rosemary Hutchinson

Bernadette Burton

Eileen English

Jean Abernott

Jean Sheenaghan

Mary Darragh

Deidre O'Donoghue

Helen O’Donoghue

Goretta Fitzpatrick

Phylis Hunter

Ann Hunter

Patricia Loughran

Bernadette Ballard

Veronica McAlinton

Kathleen Stevens

Bridget Furey

Julia Linnet

Teresa Rudoyians

Patsy McManus

Barbara McConkey

Kathleen Grimley

Margaret Lloyd

Patricia O’Reilly

Frances O’Reilly

Paul Pearce

Edward Donlan

Sam Smyth

M Joseph Sing

Justin O’Dowd

Daniel Lamb

John Heaney

William Lynch

PJ Quigley

Damien Kelly

Kenny McLaughlin

Eileen Killen

Eileen Devlin

Stephen McCullough

Martin McCarron

Conor Ryan

John Meehan

Paddy Corcoran

Eddie McCourt

David Farthing

Caroline Magee

Jay Richie

Paul Richie

Brian Taggart

Eugene Gallagher

Don Browne

Martin James Rankin

Micky McMorrin

Charles O’Rourke

Robert O’Connor

Andy McCourt

Kathleen O’Connor

Jacqui Healey

Patricia Benson

Marie Gavigan

Tony Browne

Anthony Canavan

Julie Gartland

Barry McIntyre

Billy Brennan

Gerald Mulhern

Maureen O’Hagan

Martina O’Hagan

Joe McCauley

Declan Gallagher

Gerard McNally

Mairead O'Neill

Kate Walmsley

Una McNeice

Kevin McGuckin

Bernie O’Hara

Peter McGuckin

Shauneen Malone

Kathleen Brown

Denise Brown

Karen Brown

Charles Murdock

Seamus Murdock

Mark Kane

Tony Hanna

Bobby Hanna

David Hanna

Gabriel Murray

Sam Adair

David Simpson

Jim McConville

Susan McConville

Thomas Mcconville

Billy McConville

Teddy Nugent

Eddie McCann

Richard McCann

Martin McCann

Mickey McConkey

Barbara McConkey

Geraldine McConkey

Joan McConkey

Diane McConkey

Brian McConkey

Patsy McConkey

Una Irvine

Kate McCausland

Annmarie Hanna

James Hardwidge

Ian Hardwidge

Sam Quail

Eileen Devlin

Joan O'Toole

Colette Breen

Annie Caul

Ellen Lane

Geraldine McMullan

Alison Tracey

Getting Ellison

Denise Burke

Jim Millar

Fran Spence

Anne Hunter

Phylis Hunter

Roy Whiteside

Heather Roberts

Thomas Gregory

Sadie Gregory

Clint Massey

Alan Phillips

Charley Harvey

Pat Corcoran

Donna Rocks

Clive McCrory

Nathan Quigley

David Levy

Patrick Dolan

Majella McGarrigle

Geraldine McGarrigle

Paddy McGarrigle

Trish OHara

Corrina Cummings

Imelda Walker

Patricia Conlan

Liam Donnelly

Bernadette Dunne

Rosemary Dunne

Anne Dunne

Marie Meehan

Colette Milligan

Mary Johns

Ellen Harrison

Albert Harrison

Jimmy Shortt

Kevin Doherty

Michael Doherty

John Kelly

Paddy Kelly

Johanna Smith

Valerie Mullen

Elaine Farthing

Tommy Taggert

Edmund Allen

Eddie Hutchison

Andy Hutchison

Bernie Hughes

Cecil Wilson

John Clark

Brian Cowan

David Robinson

Bridget Doherty

George McKee

James Stewart

Jimmy Lappin

Joe McAuley

John Mark McAuley

Josie Wiggins

Kate Allsopp

Irene Allsopp

Evelyn McConkey

Davina McConkey

Leo McGarrigle

Tony McGuinness

Brendan McNally

Noel McNally

Nigel Tennyson

Willie Tennyson

Karyn McMurray

Patrick Murphy

Willie Murphy

Eileen Reid

Lilly Reid

Sadie Shortt

Joe Shields

Former Child Migrants sent to Australia:

James Breslin, Madeley, Western Australia

George Murray, Salter Point, Western Australia

Patrick McGowan, Hamilton Hill, Western Australia

Margaret Wilde (nee Waugh), Glen Iris, Victoria

Ann McVeigh, Balcatta, Western Australia

Gemma Griffith (nee McGuire), Rivervale, Western Australia

Elizabeth O'Rourke, Balcatta, Western Australia

Anthony Hassen, Ellen Brook, Western Australia

Alan Haslett, Forrestfield, Western Australia

Michael McKiernan, Shoalwater Bay, Western Australia

Patrick McNamee, Baldivis, Western Australia

James Pearson, Bayswater, Western Australia

Patrick Ward, Hazelmere, Western Australia

Bridget Willers (nee Kellagher), Port Kennedy, Western Australia

John Boyle, Nollamara, Western Australia

John Creedon, Bakers Hill, Western Australia

Edward Harkin, Palmyra, Western Australia

Bernard Kerr, Gatton, Queensland

Norman McFadden, Dunsborough, Western Australia

James Quigley, South Ynderup, Western Australia

Norman Scott, Coodanup, Western Australia

Gerard McWilliams, Ferntree Gully, Victoria

Francis John Marshall

James Joseph Marshall

Michael Desmond McPolin

Noel Reynolds

Patrick Joseph Faulkner

Francis Joseph White

Brendan Francis McCloat

John Joseph Marron

Sheila Mary Cahill (now Pearce)

Lilly O’Rourke

Hannah O’Rourke (now known as Ferguson)

Ann Frances McVeigh

Rose Mary Hogg (now Walling)

Mary Kathleen McGrath (now Smith).

Supported by:

Survivors North West

Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA)

Rosetta Trust

Tardun Old Boys’ Association Inc., Australia

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International UK

Dr Margaret Humphreys CBE, OAM – International Director, Child Migrants Trust

Desmond McDaid – Secretary, International Association of former Child Migrants & their Families

Dr Philippa White, Director, on behalf of Tuart Place, Fremantle, Western Australia

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