Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Abuse inquiry terms due in autumn

The terms of an inquiry in to abuse in church and state-run institutions will be set in the autumn

The terms of an inquiry into historic institutional abuse in Northern Ireland will be announced in the autumn.

In conjunction with abuse survivors, executive ministers said they will explore a series of options and formats over the summer recess.

A report prepared by a cross-departmental working group set up to examine how an inquiry would proceed was presented to ministers at the last executive meeting of the term at Stormont Castle.

It outlines a number of possibilities, including one based on the model of the damning Ryan Report in the Republic of Ireland which exposed decades of endemic abuse in the state.

A decision on how to detail and investigate past crimes committed in Catholic church and state-run institutions in Northern Ireland will be made when the ministers return from recess in the autumn.

A spokesman from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister said a wide-ranging discussion on the issue was held at the executive meeting.

"Ministers will now consider over the summer all the issues and options set out in the report and their implications, with a view to taking final decisions on the nature of the inquiry into these issues early in the autumn," he said.

Junior ministers Martina Anderson and Jonathan Bell will contact victims groups and individual survivors over the summer to gauge their views on the options contained in the interdepartmental taskforce report.

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