Belfast Telegraph

Time for pleasantries over, Bradley has to act, say abuse survivors ahead of meeting

Margaret McGuckian
Margaret McGuckian

Survivors of institutional abuse have told Northern Ireland Secretary of State Karen Bradley there can be no more pleasantries and she must act on setting up a compensation scheme ahead of their meeting with her on Monday.

Mrs Bradley has come under intense pressure to implement the recommendations of the 2017 Hart inquiry.

Among other things the wide-ranging examination of claims of historical abuse recommended a financial redress scheme and an apology for those victims of abuse.

It is thought since the report's publication 30 people have died never seeing any redress for the abuse they suffered.

Margaret McGuckian of pressure group SAVIA said there could be no more delay.

"This is D-Day," she told the BBC Stephen Nolan Show ahead of a planned meeting with the secretary of state on Monday evening.

"We have not another day on our hands. She has gone far enough with her excuses and her stalling tactics. If she has any heart and compassion she will now agree take this legislation straight through Westminster immediately and set up this redress payment scheme.

"We have no more time for tea and biscuits or talks about talks."

Karen Bradley has said a consultation process brought about "fundamental questions" for the Northern Ireland parties to answer in order to allow her to consider bringing forward the legislation required.

Groups of those representing survivors of abuse described the move as "shameful" saying they felt they were being used as "blackmail" to get devolved government back up and running. Something Karen Bradley has denied.

Maragart McGuckian said she will present the Tory minister with a list of the deceased who passed since the Hart report's publications at their meeting.

She said she will continue to protest until the legislation bringing about the scheme was brought into being including at a planned garden party hosted by Karen Bradley on Tuesday if necessary.

"We know she can legislate for a day - or two - and that's all we want to hear," she continued.

"If she doesn't give us that then we will walk out of the talks.

"There is no need for pleasntries. We have campaigned for 11 years. Two-and-a-half-years after the Hart report why should we have to go and beg and plead or grovel for what is rightly ours?"

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