The Commissioner's comments on the Northern Ireland Executive's Meeting with Institutions

14 October 2021

Following the announcement that the Executive met with representatives from the institutions where historical childhood abuse took place, the Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse, Fiona Ryan, said:

 

“I note the Executive met today with the six institutions where systemic abuse was found to have taken place against children in their care. I understand that these meetings are part of ongoing discussions, which will now be taken forward by an independent facilitator, to ensure that those institutions make a fair and adequate financial contribution to the redress scheme for victims and survivors of institutional childhood abuse.

“I have spoken with survivors today who have expressed sadness and anger at how long this has taken. Almost five years after the Hart Inquiry, many victims and survivors are still seeking closure. One survivor told me that ‘it has taken a long time to get back to the start’. Another that this was fundamentally about institutions being held to account for their actions.

“Currently, it is the case that financial redress is available for victims and survivors, however we have yet to see contributions to the scheme from any of the institutions investigated. The Hart Inquiry clearly and unambiguously recommended that these institutions should provide a contribution to supplement the redress scheme. With these discussions set to continue into the weeks ahead, it is time for an agreement which ensures contributions are made.  

“In addition to contributing to the redress scheme, the Inquiry is unequivocal that there should also be an appropriate contribution given towards the costs of specialist support services that can be put in place to improve the life outcomes of victims and survivors who have been enormously impacted by this abuse. It is imperative that this is fully considered as part of a victim-centred response.”