Group considers complaint after OFMDFM meeting

Abuse victims frustrated at Lack Of Movement on Inquiry

By Paul Ainsworth

R ELATIONS between civil servants and institutional abuse survivors are suffering due to ongoing delays in establishing an official inquiry, a local victim has claimed.

Margaret McGuckin, who suffered abuse at the Nazareth House former care home on the Ormeau Road, spoke out following a recent meeting with staff from the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister.

The local woman joined fellow members of the Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SVIA) lobby group to discuss the planned inquiry, but was left “frustrated” with what occurred at the Stormont meeting. She claimed the meeting was also delayed due to an official from the department “running late”, and said the group were considering a complaint over the Stormont summit.

“We were left waiting for up to half an hour, and when things did get going, we were struck at the coldness of the whole thing,” she said.

“They had been very sensitive in dealing with us up to now, as you would expect with such an issue, but at this last meeting, it seemed there was little compassion or understanding. They were non-committal and were not forthcoming about how and when the inquiry might get off the ground.”

The inquiry is expected to take up to two years to establish, adding to the pain of survivors who suffered physical and emotional abuse while under the care of the Sisters of Nazareth order as a child, said Margaret.

“The longer we wait the harder it is, but when we are treated like that it makes it a lot worse,” she added.

“We feel so strongly that we are considering a complaint over this meeting. It’s a difficult process for us, and that pain should be respected, and handled in a sensitive manner, which we feel it was not last week.”

A spokesman for OFMDFM said the department would not be commenting on the meeting ahead of any complaint being made.

Tags: , , , ,

Soul of a nation captured in many beautiful songs

I listened to young Cathal Clarke in the Bridge Grill Bar last Sunday night. Cathal, from Ardoyne, is an accomplished […]

FAI embroiled in a sing-song pub ding-dong

THE New York Times rang Squinter to find out more about the most recent controversy to engulf Irish soccer. Here’s […]

Columbanus and Patrick

St Columbanus (he lived from about 550 until 615 a.d.) should never have got on the wrong side of Queen […]

West Belfast is on the road to nowhere now

WEST Belfast has traffic, Squinter’s pretty sure it does. The Glen Road is a nightmare much of the time – […]

‘Monster snake’ terror on the Cave Hill Road

The Belfast Zoological Gardens known as Bellevue Zoo opened in 1934. I haven’t visited it for a long time but […]

Mass warfare

AT the end of a year when the start of the First World War was remembered there is one puzzle […]