Belfast Telegraph

Historical abuse inquiry funding judgment is reserved

By Alan Erwin

Judgment has been reserved in an historical abuse inquiry chairman's bid to overturn a ruling that he unfairly denied legal representation to an alleged victim.

Sir Anthony Hart is appealing a High Court verdict that a bar had effectively been erected against the woman who claims she was molested by a "very high-profile figure".

Senior judges hearing the challenge have been told alleged victims are now increasingly refusing to sign witness statements unless they secure legal funding.

The woman at the centre of the case is due to give evidence at the Historical Institutional Abuse hearings in Banbridge, Co Down, which are investigating child abuse in Northern Ireland residential institutions between 1922 and 1995.

The inquiry has so far heard from more than 100 victims and survivors of abuse, most of whom were in the care of the Catholic Church at homes in Derry and Kircubbin in Co Down.

The woman behind the legal challenge claims that she suffered years of physical, sexual and mental abuse while in the care of the Sisters of Nazareth.

Following all submissions in the appeal, Lord Justices Girvan, Coghlin and Gillen confirmed they were reserving judgment to a later date.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph