Abuse victims from children’s home in Northern Ireland may receive up to £100,000 each in compensation for the abuse suffered by nuns. This result comes after a four year inquiry, which looked into the large scale abuse and maltreatment of children in 22 institutions in Northern Ireland that went back decades.

The inquiry, headed by Sir Anthony Hart, found that the worst abuse was committed in four homes run by the Roman Catholic Sisters of Nazareth order. The children suffered physical and emotional abuse had the hands of the nuns. The inquiry found that the nuns would give the victims baths in water and disinfectant regularly.

The inquiry report also looked into the Norbertine order. The Norbertine order was condemned for neglecting the activities of paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth. Father Smyth was imprisoned in the 1990s for the abuse of 143 children. The inquiry found that the order knew about Smyth’s abusive behaviour, but failed to report it to the police or defrock him. Instead Smyth was moved to another diocese, where he continued to abuse more children.

Sir Anthony Hart said “for the Norbertine order and for others outside the order in positions of responsibility in the church, their overriding priority throughout was to protect the good name of the church and at all times to prioritise Father Smyth’s interests, instead of doing what was best for the children abused by him.”

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland Cardinal Sean Brady was also criticised for effectively silencing an alleged victim. The inquiry found that three male staff at Kincora Boys Home in east Belfast committed “sexual abuse of the gravest kind against teenagers.” Sir Hart found that the scheme that sent families with children to Australia after the Second World War was gravely defective.

The inquiry has investigated events as far back as 1922 and has had contact from 493 of the victims. The victims should be paid between £7,000 and £100,000. The spouses and children of any dead victims will be paid 75 per cent.

Jordans solicitors successfully represent many victims of sexual and physical abuse suffered at organisations. If you would like to speak to a qualified member of our legal team, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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