Belfast Telegraph

Call for Catholic Church to compensate abuse survivors

By Michael McHugh

Victims of child abuse at residential homes in Northern Ireland have urged the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland to set aside money for compensation.

Archbishop Eamon Martin met campaigners in Armagh yesterday.

The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry is due to report to the Executive next January and could recommend a pay-out for survivors.

Margaret McGuckin from Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse said: “It is the responsibility of the Executive to set up a redress scheme for victims of institutional abuse here, but the Catholic Church and religious orders which ran homes where we were abused have a moral and financial responsibility to victims.

“We have asked the Archbishop to tell Executive ministers that the Church stands ready to contribute significant funds to a Government-run redress scheme.

“Other organisations, private or public, which ran homes where abuse took place bear a similar responsibility.”

The Sisters of Nazareth congregation is among religious orders which have admitted physical abuse and apologised.

Jon McCourt from Survivors North West said: “Nothing will make up for the damage done to us when we were children, but financial redress is one way for the Church, religious orders and Government to say ‘sorry’ for what was done to us and to so many others.”

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