Victims of institutional abuse have welcomed the support of Belfast's Lord Mayor in backing their fight for justice.
The abuse survivors have been campaigning for an independent public inquiry into the mistreatment they suffered at the hands of Catholic nuns in the former Nazareth House on the Ormeau Road.
Yesterday they were given the full support of Belfast's First Citizen as he met them outside the site where the former care home was situated, before bringing them down to the City Hall for a private meeting.
Survivors of abuse in homes in Derry and Kircubbin also attended the meeting.
Margaret McGuckin (54), a former resident at Nazareth House and spokesperson for the group Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse, said it was a "symbolic" moment.
"I'm so glad the Lord Mayor has come here to support us," she said.
"It's very important - there's so many people that couldn't come out of their cars, the red brick wall was too traumatising.
"The memories are still there. Even though there are these apartments here today, I can still see that building as it was when we were children."
She said public inquiries into institutional child abuse couldn't "stop at the border", and called on the Stormont Executive to launch an "open and transparent" investigation.
The Stormont Assembly voted for a public inquiry last year, and the First Minister and Deputy first Minister both gave assurances to the group that an inquiry would be granted, but it is yet to get off the ground. "We are waiting for Stormont to come to us, we don't want to keep doing this," Ms McGuckin said.
"What we want is for them to come out and say something, to let us know when the inquiry is going to start, and will there be compensation for victims?"
Describing her experiences, she said it took her years to overcome the decade-long abuse she endured at the home.
"It was awful," she said.
"For many years, up to three years ago, I couldn't look at this place, I couldn't even come up to the Ormeau Road. I would get off the bus and go a different route, the shame was too much to bear.
"I never even told anybody what happened, not even my children's father, and he couldn't understand what was wrong with me.
"Most of our people have resorted to drink and drugs - totally unemployable because of what happened.
"I found doing this and helping others has helped me."
Lord Mayor Niall O Donnghaile said it was "deeply moving" to listen to the experiences of those he met.
"No child should suffer like these victims did in institutions in this city and elsewhere in years past," he said after the meeting.
"Today these survivors have turned their own awful experiences as children into a powerful call for justice.
"It is a call that I heard loud and clear, and it is a call which I am happy to echo.
"Thankfully Belfast is now a much changed place and, as Mayor, I want to add my voice to theirs in supporting their campaign for justice, truth and redress."