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Move begins to appoint watchdog for abuse victims in Northern Ireland

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First Minister Arlene Foster

First Minister Arlene Foster

PA

First Minister Arlene Foster

The process to name a Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse (Cosica) has started.

First Minister Arlene Foster hailed the move an "important day for victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse".

A commissioner was one of the recommendations made by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry into allegations of child abuse at institutions here over a 73-year period.

"The commissioner, when appointed, will have a statutory duty to promote the interests of any person who suffered abuse as a child while resident in an institution at some time between 1922 and 1995," said Mrs Foster.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said: "It is of the utmost importance that the needs and concerns of victims and survivors are met and that their voices are clearly heard and the appointment of Cosica will ensure this happens."

The BBC reported that it is understood interim victims' advocate Brendan McAllister will not apply for the £71,932 position, as he never intended to. He had faced calls to resign after a data breach saw details of 250 abuse victims leaked last month.

Applications close at noon on July 3.

Belfast Telegraph