Northern Ireland

Fermanagh: Specialist team to investigate historic abuse

Impartial Reporter Image copyright Impartial Reporter
Image caption More than a dozen people told their stories to the Impartial Reporter

Police have appointed a team of specialist child abuse detectives to investigate reports of historic sex abuse in County Fermanagh.

It follows a series of interviews carried in the Impartial Reporter. More than a dozen people told their stories to the paper.

The PSNI said they were taking the reports very seriously.

Journalist Rodney Edwards said this was a "huge issue" which came to light because of the bravery of victims.

The head of the Public Protection Branch, Det Chief Supt Paula Hillman said: "One of the roles of Public Protection Branch is to investigate historical child sexual abuse.

"Currently we are reviewing evidence and speaking to victims and this will take time. We will take that time," she said.

"As head of Public Protection Branch, I, and detectives working alongside me, are committed to supporting victims and ensuring we thoroughly investigate these reports of historical sexual abuse, whether in Fermanagh or other parts of Northern Ireland.

"I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it must be for someone to report historical sexual abuse."

She said anyone who came forward would be treated with sensitivity and the utmost care.