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Survivors of abuse 'left' out in cold' by deadlock

By Donna Deeney

Published 13/01/2017

Disappointed: Margaret McGuckin
Disappointed: Margaret McGuckin

A survivor of institutional abuse has expressed her fears that the collapse of Stormont could leave victims without any form of compensation.

Margaret McGuckin, who helped set up the Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse group (SAVIA), was instrumental in securing the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry headed by Sir Anthony Hart.

With the Executive now in turmoil, Ms McGuckin said she and other victims have been left "out in the cold".

"Sir Anthony's report was presented to Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness but already it is beginning to gather dust," she said.

"When I heard that Martin McGuinness had resigned as Deputy First Minister I just sunk.

"The collapse of the Assembly could not have come at a worse time for us. We carried this for nine years and we need the Government to support us.

"Instead, they have left us out in the cold.

"People are feeling very let down, they couldn't look after us when we were children and they are not looking after us now.

"We have waited so long for this. The publication of Sir Anthony's report will go ahead next Friday but we need a Government in place so the men and women who suffered abuse as children can be compensated."

McGuckin endured horrific abuse from the age of three until she was 11 in Nazareth House, a children's home in Belfast run by the Sisters of Nazareth.

Earlier this month, Sir Anthony presented his final report to the First and Deputy First Ministers which is understood to have recommended compensation to the victims abused at the 22 different organisations entrusted to care for children.

However, the nature or level of any potential redress is a matter that the Executive would have to agree.

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