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Labour pledges to put Kincora in UK child abuse probe

By Liam Clarke

Published 11/04/2015

Pledge: Ivan Lewis
Pledge: Ivan Lewis

The Labour party has promised to include Kincora in a UK-wide child abuse inquiry with full powers to compel witnesses and grant immunity under the Official Secrets Act.

Pressure has continued to mount for this to happen since former resident Richard Kerr spoke out in the media.

Margaret McGuckian of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse has also backed the call, which is supported by most Northern Ireland parties.

She said: "I am supporting this petition because I know Richard Kerr, he is often on the phone to me and I have met him with his wee family.

"I have full confidence in his sincerity. There is so much in him, he is bursting at the seams for people to believe him."

At present Kincora is due to be dealt with at the Historical and Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Banbridge later in the year. That is chaired by Anthony Hart QC.

Ms McGuckian, who works closely with other Kincora survivors, said: "With the best will in the world, Anthony Hart's tribunal in Banbridge is not the best place to deal with such a wide-ranging issue with boys being trafficked across the country.

"It won't benefit the Kincora residents to hold it here. I know many of the families are still afraid to come out so we can't let this die down. I am going to keep at this every opportunity to keep this before the public."

Last night Ivan Lewis, the shadow Secretary of State, pledged that a Labour government would move the Kincora inquiry, something the Tories have ruled out.

He said: "The suffering of the victims at Kincora Boys Home is unimaginable. Like all abuse, it will scar survivors for the rest of their lives.

"What is even more appalling is the idea that this abuse was not isolated but was part of a wider pattern of child abuse that occurred in institutions across the United Kingdom."

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