Northern Ireland

HIA: Brother confided of abuse at Rubane House on death bed

HIA at Banbridge courthouse
Image caption The inquiry is taking place at Banbridge Courthouse

An Irish emigrant has told the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry that his younger brother confided on his deathbed that he was abused at Rubane children's home.

Conor Ryan, who is now 69, was 12 when he was admitted to Rubane House, in 1957.

His brother, who was six years younger, was later admitted to the home, outside Kircubbin, County Down.

Conor Ryan said he had also been abused while in the home.

Mr Ryan told the inquiry that after leaving the home his younger brother later married and settled in Spain where he died from cancer two years ago.

He recalled one of his final visits to his seriously ill brother in hospital "he was all wired up and he said he had been abused".

His wife came back in to change the sheets.

"He didn't continue," Conor Ryan said.

Mr Ryan also told the inquiry that he himself had been sexually abused by a De La Salle brother and physically abused by a number of other religious brothers who he described as "brutal" and "very vicious".

He also claimed that, some years after leaving the home, he met the brother who sexually abused him at Dublin Airport.

He explained that when he greeted him by name, the brother - who was no longer in the order - ran away from him.

"He said 'you don't know me'," Mr Ryan said.

"You'd think I was a Nazi hunter after him."

The inquiry is currently examining alleged abuse at Rubane House in the Ards peninsula.

The HIA inquiry was set up in 2013 to investigate child abuse in residential institutions in Northern Ireland over a 73-year period, up to 1995.

A total of 13 Northern Ireland institutions are being investigated.

About 200 former residents of Rubane House have made allegations of abuse.

A total of 55 former residents have come forward to the inquiry to allege that they were physically or sexually abused.

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