Northern Ireland

Kincora Boys' Home: Young residents 'abused within weeks of arriving'

Kincora Boys Home
Image caption Three senior care staff at Kincora, including William McGrath, were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys

Some boys sent to Kincora children's home were sexually assaulted by housemaster William McGrath just weeks after arriving, an inquiry has heard.

Allegations of child abuse at the east Belfast home are being examined by Northern Ireland's Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA).

It has heard harrowing statements given to police in the 1980s which ultimately led to McGrath's prosecution.

It was told boys warned new residents about McGrath as they arrived.

Victims described how McGrath would wake them up by touching them inappropriately.

Others told detectives he followed them to the bathroom and assaulted them there.

Rumours

One victim, referred to during the inquiry as KIN49, said: "Boys warned new boys that McGrath would try to touch them."

Some boys described being scared of McGrath and his links to loyalist paramilitaries.

Three senior staff at Kincora - William McGrath, Raymond Semple and Joseph Mains - were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys.

There have been persistent rumours that boys at Kincora were prostituted as part of a high-ranking vice ring involving prominent public figures.

However, none of those whose statements have been read to the inquiry so far, have said they were aware of any such practice at Kincora.

A man, referred to as R10, who spent four years at the home from 1973 to 1977, said: "I did not know of any politicians, police officers, justices of the peace, businessmen or civil servants being involved in any way at all with the hostel, staff or boys."

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