Northern Ireland

Institutional abuse victims discuss inquiry delay

Margaret McGuckin
Image caption Margaret McGuckin is heading up the victims' delegation

Victims of institutional child abuse in Northern Ireland met senior officials at Stormont on Friday to discuss the delay in setting up an inquiry.

In September 2011, it emerged that an inquiry could take up to two years to establish.

Current legislation for a statutory investigation limits the time period to between 1973 and 1989.

First Minister Peter Robinson previously said widening it with new legislation would take extra time.

Margaret McGuckin, of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse, said she was abused at a Sisters of Nazareth orphanage in Belfast from the age of three.

She headed the victim's delegation who met Office of the First and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) officials at Parliament Buildings.

"We're ready and waiting here to go forward to tell our stories," she said.

"Many of our stories are in the hands of the police in statements, and I don't really see the sense in going and waiting another four years or so to get the findings of this, and surely the findings are in these statements.

"They can make up their minds there and then."

In 2009, Stormont assembly members backed the holding of an inquiry into the extent of child abuse in Catholic church and state-run institutions in Northern Ireland.

It followed the damning Ryan Report in the Irish Republic which uncovered decades of endemic abuse in some religious institutions.

The Stormont executive announced in December 2010 it would hold the inquiry.

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