A man who was abused at Belfast’s Kincora boys home four decades ago calls for the scandal there to become part of a wider UK inquiry into historic child abuse cases.
Channel 4 news reports:
Gary Hoy, who was abused by two men at the home who were subsequently convicted, says at Belfast high court today that Kincora should be considered by New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard, who is in charge of the wider Westminster child abuse inquiry.
He says bringing Kincora within the scope of Justice Goddard’s inquiry would mean that witnesses and the security services would be forced to hand over documents.
The judicial review will hear allegations that MI5 covered up abuse at Kincora to protect an intelligence operation it ran in the 1970s. Three care staff at the home were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys, and there are claims that a paedophile ring at Kincora had links to the intelligence services.
Two former military intelligence officers have alleged that the security services blocked police investigations in the 1970s.
Brian Gemmell, who worked as an army intelligence officer in Belfast in the 1970s, told Channel 4 News in April that he submitted an official report about Kincora to a senior MI5 officer, but was ordered to stop digging and forget about it.
Mr Gemmell is also calling for Kincora to be included in Justice Goddard’s inquiry “to consider the extent to which state and non-state institutions have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation”.
‘Makes me mad’
In a sworn affidavit for his application for judicial review, Mr Hoy says: “I know there was a lot more involved in the abuse and who knew of the abuse than just the three men convicted. I believe that many of these people had power, and included MLAs, MPs and paramilitaries. It makes me mad that they all could get away with it so easily.
“These people are hiding and protecting other people. I want to know who was involved and what they did. I find the whole thing frightening, and at times am frightened that people in authority will want my mouth shut, and want it all brushed under the carpet like it had been years ago.”
Kincora victim Richard Kerr told Channel 4 News he was also abused by “very powerful people” at two locations in London where abuse is alleged to have taken place – Elm Guest House and Dolphin Square.
Amnesty International is backing Mr Hoy’s demands. The human rights organisation’s Northern Ireland Programme Director Patrick Corrigan, said: “The Kincora affair may be one of the most disturbing episodes of the Troubles.The claims that MI5 turned a blind eye to child abuse, actively blocked a police investigation, and instead used the paedophile ring for intelligence-gathering purposes, are utterly scandalous.”
Home Secretary Theresa May has said that child protection in Northern Ireland is a devolved matter and that action must be taken locally. Justice Goddard’s inquiry will be expected to liaise with counterparts elsewhere in the UK, with specific lines of investigation a matter for her and her panel.
But Mr Corrigan said a local inquiry would not have the power “to compel evidence from MI5 and the Ministry of Defence”. The Commons home affairs select committee has also called for Kincora to be brought within Judge Goddard’s remit.
The UK-wide inquiry was established following claims that children had been abused by politicians, public officials and celebrities over many decades.