The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (Hart Inquiry) recommended that the Northern Ireland Executive and those responsible for each of the institutions investigated in the inquiry should make a wholehearted and unconditional apology to Victims and Survivors.
The Inquiry acknowledged that there are a spectrum of views held by Victims and Survivors in relation to apology. In recognition of the recommendation and the symbolic value of an apology, it is the Commissioner’s view that the Hart Recommendations regarding the apology be implemented.
The Commissioner met with the First Minister, Arlene Foster, and deputy First Minister, Michelle O’Neill, and advised them on the key elements of a meaningful apology based on internationally accepted best practice. She also underlined that the apology needed to be understood as a wider process.
The Commissioner’s Office is currently working with the Executive Office to further progress the apology and key aspects involved. Above all, the Commissioner is committed to ensuring the interests of Victims and Survivors are central to every stage of the apology process.