Northern Ireland

HIA inquiry chairman repeats plea to politicians

Sir Anthony Hart sits at a desk Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption The HIA was led by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart

The chair of a major inquiry into child abuse in Northern Ireland has repeated his plea to politicians to act on his recommendations to compensate victims.

Sir Anthony Hart chaired the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry which gave its report to Stormont in January.

Stormont's government collapsed later that month before any action was taken.

Sir Anthony has written to Secretary of State James Brokenshire urging him and Stormont party leaders to implement the recommendations as a matter of urgency.

The inquiry recommended that a tax-free compensation payment should be made to all survivors of institutional child abuse, with lump sums ranging from £7,500 to £100,000.

The panel, led by Sir Anthony, had been tasked with investigating allegations of abuse and neglect in children's residential home, run by religious, charitable and state organisations.

Its remit covered a 73-year-period from 1922 to 1995.

The panel found that there had been "widespread abuse" and mistreatment of young residents.

Sir Anthony Hart's recommendations

  • Compensation to survivors of abuse, including in homes/institutions not covered by HIA inquiry, and relatives of deceased
  • Permanent memorial erected at Stormont
  • Public apology to survivors
  • Establishment of a commissioner for survivors of institutional abuse
  • Specialist care and assistance tailored to needs of victims

The inquiry's findings were to be brought before the Northern Ireland Assembly but progress stalled because of the collapse of the devolved institutions.

Sir Anthony has written to Mr Brokenshire to notify him that the HIA inquiry has "fulfilled its terms of reference, and as a result has now officially come to an end".

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