Belfast Telegraph

Abuse victims 'may picket garden party'

Karen Bradley (Liam McBurney/PA)
Karen Bradley (Liam McBurney/PA)

By Staff Reporter

Survivors of abusive children's homes run by the state and religious orders could picket a VIP garden party to be attended by Secretary of State Karen Bradley tomorrow.

They claim they are being used as political pawns in a Government bid to force local parties into a deal to restore Stormont.

Victims want Westminster to permit compensation payments recommended by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry while the Assembly is in limbo.

Last week Mrs Bradley wrote to victim groups telling them she had decided to add the issue to the agenda of the latest party talks.

But abuse victims, who will meet Mrs Bradley later today, accused her of treating them as a "political football".

Marty Adams of the Survivors Together group, who was abused at Rathgael Training School in Bangor, has threatened to protest at a VIP garden party being attended by Mrs Bradley tomorrow.

Solicitor Claire McKeegan of Phoenix Law, who is representing a number of victims, told the BBC last night those "who should and could benefit from this" will not "if it is drags on too much longer".

Dozens of victims have died without receiving the compensation recommended just before devolution collapsed in 2017.

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