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:
Marie Therese Rogers Moloney
Mary Jo Taylor
M Joseph Sing
Martin James Rankin
John Mark McAuley
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
Patrick Joseph Faulkner
Francis Joseph White
Brendan Francis McCloat
John Joseph Marron
Sheila Mary Cahill (now Pearce)
Hannah O’Rourke (now known as Ferguson)
Ann Frances McVeigh
Rose Mary Hogg (now Walling)
Mary Kathleen McGrath (now Smith).
Survivors North West
Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA)
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