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Tear down Kincora building, demand sex abuse survivors

By Joanne Sweeney

Published 29/04/2015

Survivors of sex abuse at Kincora children's home in east Belfast have called for the building to be demolished.

A small group led by Savia spokeswoman Margaret McGuckian protested outside the vacant property in east Belfast yesterday to highlight the group's demands for the horror house to be demolished once and for all.

The victims' group intends to launch an online petition to call on First Minister Peter Robinson and the Executive to buy the property from its owner and then tear it down.

However, it is not clear who now owns the Victorian building, which sits at the corner of North Road and Upper Newtownards Road in Belfast.

It has been vacant for years after a marketing company which leased the premises left.

The call for demolition is expected to have cross-party support at Stormont as Mr Robinson has already backed calls for it to be demolished and suggested it could be bought by the State.

A larger protest outside the house is planned for June to escalate the campaign and will be led by Kincora victim Richard Kerr, who returned to the home last week for the first time in over 30 years.

He claims he was sex trafficked from the Belfast home to be preyed upon by men in hotels in the 1970s in trips which were facilitated by MI5.

Two former victims, Gary Hoy (53) and Clint Massey (57) say that they need to see the property gone in order to help with their recovery.

Mr Hoy said: "This is just a small protest to show that we do mean to go ahead until we get something done about this.

"Peter Robinson has said to me personally that he doesn't know why it's still up."

Margaret McGuckian added: "We are here to support ex-residents of this place and demand that this building be razed to the ground.

"We also still call for Kincora to be part of the Westminster inquiry rather than the HIA inquiry in Banbridge and we hope that the media will continue to press Theresa May about that.

"We have one thing in common and that's that we were brought up in institutions and abused and violated."

DUP East Belfast Westminster candidate Gavin Robinson attended the protest along with East Belfast Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle and SDLP councillor Tim Attwood.

Mr Robinson said: "The building casts a dark shadow over East Belfast as well as over these people's lives."

Kincora became the watchword for one of Northern Ireland's deepest and ugliest secrets when it was the heart of a high-profile child sex abuse scandal in the 1980s.

Three senior staff were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys in their care at the home.

Those convicted were the warden Joseph Mains, his assistant Raymond Semple and Kincora's housefather William McGrath.

Belfast Telegraph

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