One of the north’s health trusts has said it will cooperate with a probe into abuse at a former care home in its area, following claims that British soldiers and police were “among those who abused children”.

Fresh abuse claims have emerged that members of the security forces were among those who abused young girls at the former Lissue Children’s Hospital in Lisburn during the 1970s.

Alliance MP Naomi Long raised the issue with the Home Office in London and has called for an investigation.

In 2011 an Irish newspaper revealed claims of sexual, physical and emotional abuse at two children’s psychiatric hospitals – including Lissue. Six nurses at Lissue House and Forster Green hospitals in Lisburn and Belfast were accused of abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s. Three independent reports into the allegations, compiled since 2009, were never made public until the newspapers investigation.

In the wake of the revelations a police investigation was reopened into the case and Lissue was included in the landmark government-led Historical Abuse Inquiry into abuse in care homes.

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, which covers the area where Lissue operated, recently said that it will cooperate fully with the investigation amid the latest allegations.

Meanwhile, a woman giving evidence at the Historic Abuse Inquiry yesterday called for an apology for a child migrant scheme that sent them to Australia.

Giving evidence via video-link from Australia, the woman told of how she lost two brothers to suicide and how she was subjected to cruelty after being moved to the country.

The woman told the inquiry, sitting in Banbridge, Co Down, that she wanted “someone made accountable” for the deaths of her siblings who both took their own lives.

More than 130 children from the north, some as young as five, were sent to Australia as child migrants.

The woman described how children became part of what she described as a “child labour force” at a home run by Catholic nuns as well as describing the home as “the black hole of Calcutta”.

During her evidence, the woman said she believed an apology was needed. “There needs to be an apology of some description so that we become part of the histories of both countries. I still feel I don’t belong anywhere and don’t belong to anyone. We are not nobodies, we are somebodies.”

Article Source: The Irish News 09/09/14


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