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Kincora: Intelligence officer Brian Gemmell sorry for failing to pursue Richard Kerr's case

By Liam Clarke

Published 07/04/2015

Brian Gemmell and Richard Kerr at their emotional meeting
Brian Gemmell and Richard Kerr at their emotional meeting

In emotional scenes, Richard Kerr - a former Kincora resident who was sexually abused at the boys' home - has received an apology from the military intelligence officer who tried to expose the abuse.

Brian Gemmell's words represent the first time Mr Kerr has ever received an apology from the authorities who failed him.

Mr Gemmell was warned off revealing the paedophile activity at the east Belfast home by Ian Cameron, a senior MI5 officer, who told him this was not a matter for the intelligence services or the army to be concerned with. Now Mr Gemmell believes it was part of a cover-up of sex abuse by top people. He suspects that the intelligence services used such dark secrets as a way to control abusers who were politically influential. As a captain, Mr Gemmell put in an official report about Kincora to a senior MI5 officer. But to his astonishment he claims he was ordered to stop digging and forget about it. He now feels that he should have exposed it, whatever the consequences for his army career.

"That's the thing that hits me. That if I'd really pushed the thing through in '75, '76, you could have been rescued. I'm sorry," he tells Mr Kerr in tonight's Channel 4 News.

Mr Kerr replies: "Thank you, thank you for that. I've been in a lot of pain, a lot of suffering. I have survival guilt, you know"

He told the Belfast Telegraph that the meeting had made things easier for him.

"When I met with Brian Gemmell I could see he was a nice person," Mr Kerr said.

"I was in tears when he apologised, I couldn't help it, when he apologised for not doing more. It meant a lot."

Both men now believe that Kincora should be part of a UK-wide inquiry and Kevin Winters, Mr Kerr's solicitor, has launched a judicial review to try and ensure that happens.

However, Mr Gemmell warned that there would be continuing efforts to cover it up.

Richard Kerr: I was molested by powerful people at Dolphin Square and Elm Guest House in London

Without protection, Richard Kerr is afraid to tell all  

Further reading

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Royal family member was investigated as part of paedophile ring before cover-up, ex-cop says

Kincora: Theresa May accused over sex abuse probe 'snub'

Theresa May: Child abuse runs through British society like 'a stick of Blackpool rock'  

Metropolitan Police to be investigated over claims of child sex abuse cover-ups because MPs and officers were involved

Anonymous promise 'Nightmare on Elite Street' for public figures accused of child sex abuse cover-up

Russell Brand asks 'is the establishment riddled with paedophiles?' in latest Trews YouTube video

Margaret Thatcher stopped officials publicly naming Sir Peter Hayman as suspected paedophile

Kincora

Kincora: Theresa May accused over sex abuse probe 'snub'

Child sex abuse victims must not be collateral damage  

Kincora: Only a full inquiry will do  

Kincora victim Richard Kerr in explosive new claims as he returns to horror house 30 years on  

'I'm haunted by survivor's guilt... it helps to have my story heard'  

Kincora children trafficked throughout UK, claims former resident Richard Kerr  

Kincora: Justice Goddard's inquiry offers the only viable option for justice, Naomi Long  

Calls grow for probe to cover Kincora  

I will reveal the secrets, says ex-Army officer Colin Wallace

Kincora: MI5 knew about it but did nothing, that much is certain  

Full story of Kincora Boys' Home in east Belfast yet to be told, says child sex abuse victim

Kincora: Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt joins calls for inquiry into abuse at boys' home

Baroness's brother 'tried to limit probe into Kincora'

Kincora: MI5 'must hand over files on abuse at east Belfast boys' home'  

Editor's viewpoint: We must know truth of Kincora

Child abuse inquiry must look at Kincora Boys' Home, says Amnesty International

MI5 'blocked exposure of Kincora sex abuse scandal'

Kincora Boy's Home scandal: South African intelligence 'secretly backed loyalist paramilitary group Tara'

Kincora Boys' Home scandal: journalist Peter McKenna dies

State papers: The perjury that allowed Kincora suspect preacher to walk

Westminster’s dark secret: abuse of children, adultery, homosexuality and sadomasochism were all seemingly lumped together

Civil servant Mark Sedwill admits Home Office ‘probably’ destroyed paedophile dossiers  

Westminster child abuse dossier: Geoffrey Dickens also gave copy of file to top prosecutor Sir Thomas Hetherington - so why did DPP fail to act on evidence of paedophile ring?  

Historic child abuse files missing

Tory peer Lord Brittan defends handling of 1980s sex abuse dossier

Abuse claims police matter - Clegg

Abuse probe 'into soul of society'

From the archives

Kincora: Sex racket at children's home (Irish Independent, 1980)

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