More than 360 people have claimed that they suffered abuse at five Catholic voluntary homes, two secular homes, three juvenile detention institutions and three local authority homes in Northern Ireland. A public inquiry into the abuse will be opened next January.
The public inquiry will involve an investigation into the allegations of abuse against two Catholic homes in Derry, run by the Sisters of Nazareth. In total 13 Catholic, secular, local authority and juvenile detention institutions in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995 will be investigated by the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry.
The chairman of the inquiry, Anthony Hart, said the hearing in Belfast was attended by over 100 people, many who are making cases in the inquiry. It is estimated that the report will cost $29.6 million. It will be completed by January 2016.
Over 220 of the alleged abuse victims are based in Northern Ireland and 50 are living in Britain, the Irish Times reports. Another 20 are in the Republic of Ireland and 57 are now living in Australia.
Those in Australia are believed to be part of 112 children who were sent there for adoption by Catholic institutions in Belfast and Derry between 1946 and 1956. At least another 10 children were sent in around 1950.
The first aspect of the inquiry is the alleged survivors telling their stories to an acknowledgement forum. They have already heard from 177 people since October. Up to 340 plan to tell their experiences to the forum. The second is a formal statutory inquiry.
The institutions under investigation are as follows:
Local authority Homes
- Lissue Children's Unit, Lisburn
- Kincora Boys Home, Belfast
- Bawnmore Children's Home, Newtownabbey
Juvenile Justice Institutions
- St Patrick's Training School, Belfast
- Lisnevin Training School, Co Down
- Rathgael Training School, Bangor
Secular Voluntary Homes
- Barnardo's Sharonmore Project, Newtownabbey
- Barnardo's Macedon, Newtownabbey
Roman Catholic Voluntary Homes
- St Joseph's Home, Termonbacca, Londonderry
- Nazareth House Children's Home, Londonderry
- Nazareth House Children's Home, Belfast
- Nazareth Lodge Children's Home, Belfast
- De La Salle Boy's Home, Rubane, Kircubbin
Hart stressed that the closing date for application to the inquiry is Nov. 29.