11 March 2022

Long-awaited apology at Stormont for historical institutional abuse victims

11 March 2022

A long-awaited public apology to the victims of historical institutional abuse will be delivered later at Stormont.

Survivors will watch on in the Assembly chamber as a minute’s silence is held before ministers offer an apology on behalf of the powersharing Executive.

The apology will be delivered by five ministers, representing each of the main parties, in the absence of a first and deputy first minister.

Paul Givan and Michelle O’Neill (Brian Lawless/PA) (PA Wire)

Michelle McIlveen, Conor Murphy, Nichola Mallon, Robin Swann and Naomi Long will make the apology after Paul Givan resigned earlier this year, which also removed Michelle O’Neill from the joint office.

Representatives from six organisations, which ran the institutions, will also offer an apology.

They will speak for religious orders De La Salle, Sisters of Nazareth, Sisters of St Louis and the Good Shepherd Sisters – as well as Barnardo’s and the Irish Church Missions.

The public apology was recommended in the final report of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIAI), which was published more than five years ago.

Retired High Court judge Sir Anthony Hart chaired the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (PA) (PA Media)

Inquiry chair Sir Anthony Hart outlined a series of recommendations after he revealed shocking levels of sexual, physical and emotional abuse in the period 1922 to 1995.

The recommendations included that those abused in state, church and charity run homes should be offered compensation as well as an official apology from government and the organisations which ran the residential facilities where it happened – and a memorial.

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