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: , , , ,

Nature bestows its bounty on our birdlife

MAYBE it’s something to do with growing older, with the knowledge incrementally increasing with each day that you’ll not be […]

Why do loyal wee Ulster’s sportsmen get the best and worst of both worlds?

RORY McIlroy – or Rory McIlbhoy as he’s now referred to in the Twaddell caravan – probably thought he had […]

A vital change

THEY say it was a peaceful Twelfth. That   children’s faces painted with offensive slogans, marchers breaking the law, verbal and […]

Rolling out the red carpet

For those of us who believe Ireland is a country of six million and a nation of 70 million, the […]

Unionist walk-out was no surprise

PLATFORM: By Seán Murray The disengagement from the current talks process by political unionism came as no great surprise to […]

Badly in need of democrats

They say the Scottish independence movement is having success on at least one front: they’re rounding up people who haven’t […]