Belfast Telegraph

Kincora sex abuse survivor Clint Massey laid to rest

Campaigner: Clint Massey
Campaigner: Clint Massey
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

The funeral of a Kincora abuse survivor who spoke out for other victims has taken place in Bangor.

Clint Massey revealed he had terminal lung and brain cancer in January, passing away this month, aged 60, after contracting a chest infection.

He was sexually abused at the age of 16 during an eight-month stay in the notorious Kincora boys' home in east Belfast.

Years later he waived his right to anonymity, bravely speaking out in support of other victims.

Before his death, he urged local politicians to stop bickering and implement recommendations in the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry report, which include compensation for victims and a State apology.

Mourners gathered yesterday for a celebration of his life at Clark's funeral home in Bangor.

Journalist Colin Breen became good friends with Mr Massey. He said speaking out about Kincora had been a healing experience for Mr Massey, and that he would remember an intelligent and good-humoured friend.

"The person who would have enjoyed the funeral service most in terms of the celebration wasn't there - that was Clint," he said.

"He enjoyed the craic as much of the rest of us."

Mr Breen said he was initially concerned when Mr Massey decided to go public about what had happened to him as a boy.

"I wasn't sure if he was strong enough to cope but it ended up being quite therapeutic for him," he commented.

In 1981, three senior care workers at Kincora were imprisoned. Claims of security force or State collusion into the abuse were later dismissed by the chairman of a public inquiry into the scandal, Sir Anthony Hart.

The failures of the health authorities and RUC were raised, however, after dozens of residents complained.

Days after the inquiry's recommendations were made, the Stormont Assembly collapsed, meaning none of the funds can be released to survivors.

Mr Massey always denied any suggestion of political or intelligence service involvement in the abuse, maintaining the perpetrators were local.

"He was a very intelligent guy. It made me wonder how his life would have ended up in normal circumstances," Mr Breen said.

"He read and retained a lot. I wondered sometimes if it was because he was withdrawn, that's why he read so much," he added.

Mr Massey's cancer diagnosis was revealed after a physiotherapist raised concerns during a routine check-up.

"It was a big shock to him," said Mr Breen.

"After visiting him just last week, the last thing I expected to hear was that he died."

Having met with a group of friends after the funeral, Mr Breen was told the service was "a proper celebration".

"There's a sadness today among us, but there was a lot of laughter looking back on the happy days as well," Mr Breen added.

Belfast Telegraph


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