Belfast Telegraph

Frank, honest and devoid of self-pity - last interview of Kincora victim Clint

By Colin Breen

The funeral will take place in Bangor tomorrow of Kincora child abuse survivor turned campaigner Clint Massey (60)

Mr Massey was suffering from cancer and died suddenly in hospital after contracting a chest infection.

In what turned out to be his last interview - at the Marie Curie Centre in east Belfast where he was living - Mr Massey spoke frankly, honestly and without any hint of self-pity about the latest bad hand life had dealt him.

It came the morning after he was told that his cancer was terminal. He was told: "Clint, there is nothing more we can do for you except make you comfortable."

Mr Massey was just 16 when he entered Kincora Boys' Home in east Belfast thinking he was in a place of safety, but unaware that events over the coming months would impact on him for the rest of his life.

Having courageously waived his right to anonymity so that he could better highlight the crimes he suffered and help other victims from the home, he spoke out vigorously for victims of abuse at every opportunity.

Dismissing rumours of security service or political involvement in the abuse as rubbish, he explained there were three main offenders who were local, and that he was mainly a victim of William McGrath.

"I worked in the centre of Belfast but I didn't start to 10am. The rest left to start work at 7.30am or 8am," he said.

"It was after the rest left and I was on my own that McGrath would come to my bed. Some of the boys were taken to a nearby hotel and bought drink before the abuse, but even though I was 16 I looked about 12 and wouldn't be given drink."

"I agreed to give a statement when the public inquiry into abuse was announced - not just into Kincora, but about the Churches and Magdalene Laundries as well.

"I agreed to give evidence and even did a trial run in the bus to see how long it would take me to get to Banbridge. It was a big thing for me, but the authorities didn't really seem to want to know. It was the Churches they were interested in and we (Kincora) were kept to last.

"I think I was the youngest there, some of the laundry victims would have been in their 80s. I was also the only one from Kincora, though after I had spoken two more came and gave evidence." Asked if he was offered counselling after giving evidence, he stated: "I got up to leave and officialdom kicked in. A guy shouted at me: 'Hey, don't forget the form to claim your bus fare!'

"They washed their hands of me, I have not heard from them from that day to this.

"When I was being abused I was treated like a piece of dirt, and at the inquiry they even managed to make me feel like I was a second-class victim."

Mr Massey was a popular, intelligent, articulate and well-read man. He was the first to admit he had trouble in establishing and maintaining relationships and could be withdrawn at times.

Even how his cancer was diagnosed was unorthodox, when he went to the hospital with a sore leg. An observant physio asked how he was, got someone to examine the leg, and the cancer was detected - much to his surprise.

Despite his own problems and the effect the suffering undoubtedly had on him, Mr Massey spent much of his life concerned about other people and their problems, helping where he could.

His funeral service takes place tomorrow at Clark's Funeral Home, Bangor, at noon.

Belfast Telegraph

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