Paedophile child psychiatrist revelations - Amnesty demands investigation by UK child abuse inquiry

It’s too late to save the children abused by Fraser. It’s not too late for the truth to come out.” – Patrick Corrigan

Amnesty International has called again for allegations of involvement by UK security services in child abuse at Kincora Boys’ Home in Northern Ireland to be investigated by the Westminster child abuse inquiry.

The latest Amnesty call comes as a new report reveals that Dr Morris Fraser, a child psychiatrist who has been linked to Kincora, and who was convicted of sexually assaulting a child while working for a Belfast hospital in 1972, was allowed to remain on the British medical register for 24 more years during which he was convicted on abuse charges on two further occasions.

Report author Dr Niall Meehan cites a number of sources linking Dr Fraser to abuse at Kincora Boys’ Home. Allegations have persisted for decades that a paedophile ring at Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast was linked to the British intelligence services.

Last year the Independent on Sunday revealed that a Freedom of Information request to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) regarding Fraser’s activities in Northern Ireland was turned down for reasons of “national security”.

Home Secretary Theresa May has refused to allow Kincora to be investigated by the inquiry headed by Justice Lowell Goddard, despite calls by Amnesty, a recommendation from the Commons Home Affairs Committee and strong cross-party support in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Instead, the UK government has asked Northern Ireland’s historic institutional abuse inquiry, which lacks powers to compel evidence or witnesses from government departments or the security services, to investigate the claims.

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

“These are deeply shocking revelations. How could the authorities, here and in London, allow a convicted serial child abuser to continue to have trusted access to vulnerable children for over two decades?

“Public fears of a long-running establishment cover-up of child abuse in Northern Ireland will only be further heightened by the fact that, as recently as last year, the PSNI was refusing - on ‘national security’ grounds - to release information about Fraser’s activities.

“The only way to restore public confidence around Kincora is for its inclusion within the Goddard Inquiry, the only investigation with powers to compel files and witnesses.

“Nothing less than a full public inquiry – with all the powers of compulsion which that brings - can finally reveal what happened at Kincora. It’s too late to save the children abused by Fraser. It’s not too late for the truth to come out.”

Background

Three senior staff at Kincora – William McGrath, Raymond Semple and Joseph Mains – were jailed in 1981 for child abuse, but there have been suggestions of a mass cover-up by MI5, which was rumoured to be protecting high-ranking paedophiles in the military, Civil Service and politics.

One of the child sex abuse victims from Kincora is challenging the home's exclusion from the inquiry in a judicial review being considered in Belfast High Court. Gary Hoy, who was abused by two of the men who were subsequently convicted, is taking legal action to force a full independent inquiry with the power to compel witnesses and the security services to hand over documents. 

The judicial review case has heard allegations that MI5 was involved in covering up the sexual abuse of children in order to protect an intelligence-gathering operation it ran in the 1970s. A decision in the judicial review case is due to be delivered on April 8th.

Government papers disclosed last year revealed that the Belfast boys’ home was at the heart of correspondence involving the security services. 

The papers also named former government figures alleged to have been involved in paedophile rings. These include the late Sir William van Straubenzee, who was a government minister in Northern Ireland between 1972-74 when the allegations of a paedophile ring at Kincora were first made; and Sir Peter Hayman, former deputy director of MI6.

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