STILL AWAITING AN APOLOGY FOR INSTITUTIONAL ABUSE
KRW LAW LLP (KRW) represent many victims and survivors of institutional abuse whilst resident in care homes in Northern Ireland.
The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) reported to Stormont in 2017.
The HIA recommended that there should be a Public Apology to victims and survivors:
“We therefore recommend that the Northern Ireland Executive, and those who were responsible for each of the institutions where we found systemic failings, should make a public apology. The apology should be a wholehearted and unconditional recognition that they failed to protect children from abuse that could and should have been prevented or detected. We also recommend that this should be done on a single occasion at a suitable venue.”
The HIA also recommended a Memorial to victims and survivors:
“We are of the opinion that a memorial should be erected to remind legislators and others of what many children experienced in residential homes. We recommend that a suitable physical memorial should be erected in Parliament Buildings, or in the grounds of the Stormont Estate.”
Whilst a redress scheme has secured some measure of fiscal compensation to victims and survivors there has to date been no Public Apology or plans for a Memorial.
On 2 November the Deputy First Minister stated that “an official apology for institutional child abuse in Northern Ireland will be made as soon as possible.”
Owen Beattie, Solicitor, KRW, said:
“Whilst we welcome this statement from the Deputy First Minister, victims and survivors continue to wait for the certainty of Public Apology and a Memorial three years after the recommendations of the HIA. There has been no explanation as to why there has been this protracted delay which is an insult to victims and survivors of institutional abuse in Northern Ireland”