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Kincora campaigner's fury after abuse evidence is censored

By Cate McCurry

Tthe man who tried to expose historical sex abuse at the notorious Kincora boys' home in Belfast in the 1970s has criticised a major inquiry after it redacted part of his evidence.

Former Army captain and intelligence officer Colin Wallace, whose attempts to blow the whistle on the abuse of the young boys were thwarted by superiors, said the censored information undermines the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry (HIA).

He refused to testify before it last year, because he said it did not have adequate powers to get answers. Instead, Mr Wallace submitted a 45-page document about Kincora.

However, two sections were redacted - blacked out - before the material was placed on the HIA website. The redacted information, published by Lobster Magazine, includes details about senior figures from public life.

Mr Wallace said it was "strange and disappointing" that important information was kept out of the inquiry and from the public.

"This report has illustrated the weaknesses of the system, because there are lost files and material that I had in 1973 that they haven't found and the stuff that we did give has been excluded," he said.

"I feel for the victims, because this is very unsatisfactory."

Some of the concealed information centred around Sir Knox Cunningham, a former parliamentary secretary to former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.

The barrister from Northern Ireland was also an Ulster Unionist MP for South Antrim.

It details how there were clear links between Knox Cunningham and William McGrath, a notorious paedophile, who was jailed for child abuse at Kincora.

Part of the redacted information had already been published in the book Let The Petals Fall, by Robin Bryans.

It revealed how Cunningham was a close friend of Belfast painter Sidney Smith, who was one of a group of paedophiles on both sides of the border.

"Knox never hesitated to flex his legal muscles for illegal purposes as a Queen's Counsel," the book claims.

"Knox could also cite chapter and verse about Sidney Smith's similar immunity from prosecution over his years of sex with unconsenting children as young as three years."

Mr Wallace said that although the sexual abuse allegations relating to Sidney Smith pre-date the Kincora sexual abuse allegations, the links between McGrath, Cunningham and others make them relevant to the HIA Inquiry.

"There are important witnesses that were never approached by the inquiry and having taken part in the Saville inquiry I was amazed the HIA was relying on the unsigned statements people had given back in 1982," he said.

"That's not acceptable.

"Knox Cunningham did have connections to John McKeague who had links to Kincora and Peter Montgomery (the gay lover of Russian spy Sir Anthony Blunt). The intelligence service must have been keeping a close eye on them.

"What I find odd is that information that has been published in one inquiry has later been redacted by the HIA.

"The illogical nature of what the HIA has done is something I find hard to understand.

"I don't think that account fitted the HIA view, so they left it out. This undermines the work of the HIA inquiry.

"The inquiry has not helped victims because it has left so many things up in the air.

"Victims have been waiting for the HIA to answer their questions and they have not answered their questions - it has raised more questions. The HIA is not the full story."

A spokeswoman for the HIA inquiry said: "The inquiry only redacted material that related to national security, protected the identity of those whose safety might be at risk, or had no relevance to the work of the inquiry. The inquiry does not intend to comment on the reasons for specific redactions."

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