Belfast Telegraph

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry: Probe in Australia return to quiz more witnesses

By Deborah McAleese

A team from the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry is to travel to Australia next month to speak to a "significant" number of alleged victims.

The team, including inquiry chairman, retired judge Sir Anthony Hart, will examine the operation of a child migrant scheme involving the transfer of children from institutions in Northern Ireland to institutions throughout Australia.

This visit, the second to Australia by members of the inquiry team, will form the second module of hearings, which are due to commence at the start of September.

At the end of September the inquiry hopes to pursue investigations on the former De La Salle Boys' Home, Rubane House, in Kircubbin, Co Down.

The inquiry is investigating abuse claims against children's residential institutions in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995.

Public hearings began in January and have been hearing evidence in relation to Termonbacca and another Londonderry home, Nazareth House, which were run by the Sisters of Nazareth.

The inquiry, being held in Banbridge, Co Down, is considering cases in 13 residential institutions in total.

It is thought that public hearings in relation to St Joseph's Termonbacca and Nazareth House Children's Home should be completed by the end of this month or early June.

The inquiry has so far heard from 70 witnesses.

In addition, 18,000 documents have been placed before the inquiry in this module alone.

Public hearings are due to finish in June 2015.

The inquiry team will report to the Northern Ireland Executive by the start of 2016.

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