Belfast Telegraph

Men's lives 'blighted by cruelty', abuse inquiry told

By Michael McHugh

Witnesses at the inquiry into institutional abuse have described how the sadistic and brutal treatment they suffered at the hand of the nuns supposed to care for them had destroyed their later relationships with women.

One former St Joseph's resident testified that he ran away from Termonbacca but was recovered time after time.

One of the Sisters of Nazareth smirked and said: "Welcome back, your majesty", the witness said.

"Then the beatings would start."

He never married, and attributed this "life sentence" of loneliness to women in his childhood who brutalised him.

Another victim said his Christmas presents "disappeared".

"You had no real personal possessions, none."

One witness yesterday described polishing floors until they shone. Gangs of children used rags on their feet as senior boy overseers chanted a rhythm.

One youngster said the rhythm got faster and faster and if he could not keep up he was beaten.

He never played football or any other normal childhood pursuits.

Belfast Telegraph

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