Commissioner's comments after the meeting of the Executive Office Committee today, 17 December 2021

Following a re-scheduled meeting of the Executive Office Committee today, Fiona Ryan, Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse said:

“I am pleased to have had the opportunity to come before the Committee again today to update them on my work and the issues currently facing survivors of historical institutional childhood abuse. It was disappointing this session had to be cut short earlier in the week, but I do acknowledge the genuine apology that was given by the Committee to survivors and am keen that we look ahead at what can be done by all of us to advance the range of issues facing survivors.

“I raised a number of outstanding issues today with MLAs. On 20 January, it will be five years on from the Hart Report and survivors have yet to receive an apology and some have expressed serious concerns with the Redress process. Survivors have waited too long to have their voices heard and to receive long-awaited recommendations. Many are now in advancing years, some in poor health and time is very much of the essence.

“I impressed upon MLAs the need to move forward at pace with a date and plan for an apology to victims and survivors, complete the review of the Redress process and also raise more awareness of the services and support available to survivors of historical institutional childhood abuse.

 “The Committee’s interest today was welcome and particularly that they have agreed to follow up with the Executive on these issues in a formal letter.”