20/01/2017 BBC Newsline


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Good evening, the headlines on BBC Newsline.


After years of fighting to be heard, a major report into historic


institutional abuse says victims should receive an apology,


Today we are believed as young children who tried to complain about


our abuse but no one would listen. The chairman of the inquiry praised


the courage of the victims saying their evidence was sometimes


distressing and painful for them. We hope that, in some measure, the


process of giving evidence, whether acknowledged in private or in


public, helped those who were not listened to in the past.


A murder inquiry in Lurgan after the body of a woman


Supporters and opponents show unity after the resignation


We wouldn't be where we are in Northern Ireland, in terms of


stability, peace and the opportunity to rebuild our country if it hadn't


have been for the work that he did put in.


And, after the recent gloom, there'll be a bit more sun


In their own words, today was a "special,


"special day" for victims of historical child abuse.


After four years of hearings, the Historical Institutional Abuse


It investigated more than 60 residential homes and institutions,


looking into allegations dating back to the 1920s.


Today, the inquiry concluded that children were subjected


The official report outlines how abuse was inflicted


in institutions run by the state, local authorities,


The inquiry, chaired by retired High Court Judge Sir Anthony Hart,


says there should be a public apology to all those who suffered


abuse, a memorial at Stormont as a reminder to politicians


of what many children experienced in residential homes,


and compensation and support services for survivors.


Kevin Sharkey has been following the inquiry for BBC Newsline.


The Inquirer investigated the physical, emotional and sexual abuse


and neglect of children who were under 18 years of age. There were


public hearings into a total of 22 homes and institutions. The inquiry


sought evidence and fast amounts of historical documents from seven


state, church and charitable organisations. Today, a judgment on


that. The long and painful journey from troubled childhoods. Decades of


suffering, years of campaigning, today, the results. There were


individuals who provided excellent care. There were others who are


cruel and abusive, sexually, motioned me towards the children for


whom they were responsible. This abuse has affected many people for


the rest of their lives. Thousands of young people, toddlers and


teenagers were placed in the institutions investigated by this


inquiry. Hundreds claimed they were abused or neglected. The inquiry


listen to their voices, heard their anguish. Victims and survivors of


historical abuse can pull the curtain back over the shame of the


last 73 years. The inquiry looked into the past, burying the balloons


of countless damaged lives and the scandal of institutional abuse. We


know that for the great majority of applicants, this was the first time


they'd describe their experiences as children in residential care. Even


in some cases to members of the Roman family. The inquiry also


investigated sexual abuse at the former boys home in Belfast. Despite


years of investigation, the inquiry found no evidence of a cover up. We


are satisfied that it was not a homosexual brothel, nor used by any


of the security agencies as a honeypot to entrap, blackmail or


exploit homosexuals. The public hearings were attended by men and


women. Many old, elderly or confirmed. People recalling


childhoods stained by abuse, cruelty and neglect. Adult lives scarred by


the memories. Echoes from the past demanding to be heard. Describing


those experiences wasn't always easy. At times it was clearly


distressing and painful. The report provides a new historical document


on a bleak period in Northern Ireland's past. And an often


harrowing and heartbreaking account of damage childhoods. The future,


according to the report's authors, has a duty to remember and to


provide redress. The apology should be a wholehearted and unconditional


recognition that they failed to protect children from abuse that


could and should have been prevented or detected. A memorial should be


erected to remind legislators and others of what many children


experienced in residential care. We have provided a detailed framework


for the recommended compensation scheme. And for the re-dress board


that would administer the compensation scheme. This was an


investigation focusing on abuse but the inquiry acknowledge the good


work of many people working in the institutions. The report is now


available to the public but it has to be implemented by politicians. We


therefore urge the new executive and Assembly to give affect our


recommendations and to do so as a matter of priority after the


election. We believe those who have waited so long for their voices to


be heard deserve nothing less. Thank you very much.


The publication of the inquiry is the end of a long


Many have died and others live with the significant mental scars


BBC Newsline's Tara Mills has been speaking to some of them.


You may find some of the details in her report upsetting.


Margaret has been the public face of the victims but, privately, there is


a reason for her involvement in the campaign. Her brother and Kevin. At


62, he still lives in care. He has a learning difficulty which she


believes is directly related to what he suffered as a child. They


sexually abused me. Girls and boys. The abuse happened here, and there


was physical violence, too. I have straps on my back. So, the people


who were looking after you did that? Yes. Was it saw? I cried. Separated


when the mother left home, they were sent to different institutions. With


no bombs to parents or siblings, Kevin was particularly vulnerable to


abuse. He was misthrow pro -- mistaking these things the love.


That is all they had from these Kristian brothers and priests and


also boys, he understood it as love but it was rape of an innocent


child. Kevin didn't have to go to court. The inquiry came to his care


hope to hear the evidence. Nobody sees what goes on behind-the-scenes.


The politicians don't realise or the inquiry team, they are doing the


job. But this is the reality of how people's lives are affected. It


wasn't just the Catholic Church that had questions to answer at the


inquiry. Secrets of state abuse also had to be told. Every day, it's in


your mind. Ron Graham spent time at three boys homes. The abuse took


place at Kincora. My father had just passed away in December, in 74 or


75. I remember going into Kincora. There was something about the place.


I couldn't put my finger on it. Willie McGraw was sentenced to four


years for the crimes he committed against Ron another boys while


working as a housemaster. When McGraw approached me, it was in a


fatherly way. And I think he played on it emotionally. That was the


first time he raped me. So it was. I remember after that happened, he


said to me, clean yourself up. And don't say a word. So I did clean


myself up and I went out, walk to the cemetery... And I think the


police picked me up inside the cemetery. The children who ended up


in these institutions had already ensured the pain of loss, abuse or


neglect in their own homes. To then faced torture at the hands of the


Church or state is impossibly cruel. Most of these people want someone to


pay for what happened to them. With reaction to the findings of


the Historical Institutional Abuse Institution after institution, from


local authority homes to secular homes, homes run by the Catholic


Church and won by the Church of Ireland. 22 in total. Those in


charge have issued an apology, to those abused in their care. We


express our deep regret for what happened to those particular


children, and we have failed to protect those children at that


particular time. Does it bring shame to Barnardo 's? I don't think so


because we exercised duty of care when we realised we'd had problems.


We've approached the inquiry with openness. And taken responsibility


to bring about change and learn lessons. The largest number of


complaints related to for sister of Nazareth homes. Much of the sexual


abuse was known by the members of the clergy. The report found nothing


was done to stop the abuse. The report was discussed with Pope


Francis today. TRANSLATION: It isn't easy to hear but however unpalatable


it might be, I think all of us must accept the findings of this report,


and we must cooperate fully with the new Northern Ireland executive in


ensuring that proper reparation is made, to those that have been hurt


and traumatised by those things. The Department of Health has conceded


systemic failings on the part of its predecessor, specifically in


connection with legislation and inspection. The health minister


said... Barnardos say while lessons have


been learned, organisations cannot rest on their laurels. Any


organisation who says there is no risk is very unwise. I what is


important is to be constantly vigilant and constantly improving


standards, otherwise we're just complacent. The Department of


Justice say the findings of the report are being carefully examined.


Any new lessons to emerge from it will be acted upon.


You've sat in on these hearings for the last


four years and listened to at times


What do you think this inquiry has meant to the victims


Well, I suppose this evening that is the question because essentially


what happened today was the chairman of the inquiry, Sir Anthony Hart, he


passed the baton on to Stormont. It's now up to the politicians when


they get back together, if they get back together, to decide, number


one, when will there be that public apology, number two, when will that


memorial in the grounds of Stormont be put in place, and, number three,


when will the re-dress process and process of compensation be put in


place and when will the victims benefit from that compensation?


Because, at the end of the day, and at the end of this inquiry process,


let's not forget that this is about victims, about people, people who


travelled from different parts of not only Northern Ireland but


different parts of Ireland, the UK, and from as far away as Australia,


because many children were sent to Australia in the middle of the last


century. And during the last three years when I've been covering the


inquiry at the courthouse, day after day, I watched victims and survivors


walking through the doors of that courthouse in ones and twos and you


could see the pain and hurt etched on their faces. Today, there were


dozens of victims and survivors in a hotel in South Belfast and, for the


first time in all that time, I saw very many of them smile today. Thank


you very much. A murder investigation has begun


after the body of a woman was discovered at a house in Lurgan


early this morning. Police say she was


51-year-old Anita Downey. This report from


Michael Fitzpatrick. Police were called to this house in


Lurgan with the woman's body was found at around 2:50am. A man of the


same age was arrested on suspicion of murder and is being questioned by


detectives. This is a quiet residential area around 100 yards or


so from the local high school in Lurgan. A woman living next door


says her young daughter was awoken in the early hours by the sound of


shouting and glass being smashed. People living here say they've been


left shocked at waking up to a crime scene on their doorstep. We're just


saddened by it. People get on well here but you don't want this to


happen anywhere, and my thoughts go out to the family because it is


somebody's loved one that has died. People's thoughts and prayers are


very much with the deceased's family. It's very sad news at the


start of the New Year to have a death of this nature. And certainly


I'd encourage anyone who has any information to come forward to the


PSNI. A postmortem examination is due to take place. A 51-year-old man


remains in police custody. Sinn Fein are to reveal next Monday


who will replace Martin McGuinness. Today, party president Gerry Adams


said the former Deputy First Minster Politicians from across the board


have all paid tribute to Mr McGuinness, including the DUP


MP Ian Paisley, who thanked him Here is Our Political


Correspondent Stephen Walker. A welcome for a man seen by many as


a local hero. Last night in his home city Martin McGuinness received much


praise. I've been to many famous places throughout the world but my


heart lies here. Political tributes have flowed from all sides,


including the Prime Minister, the Taoiseach and the local parties. The


DUP leaders said... There were other tributes from


parties, and one that stood out was from last night's BBC programme, The


View, from Ian Paisley. I want to say thank you and it is important we


reflect on the fact that we wouldn't be where we are in Northern Ireland


in terms of having stability, peace and the opportunity to rebuild our


country if it hadn't have been for the work that he put in, especially


with my father. Ian Paisley's comments provoked quite a reaction


on social media, and there were warm words from the DUP's political


rivals, including many Republicans. The TUV leader gave a different


response. He wrote... Talking about Martin McGuinness, Ian Paisley's DUP


colleague Gregory Campbell said, the regret is he didn't engage much


earlier in the peaceful path. Today, Gerry Adams said Martin McGuinness


had a life-threatening condition, and welcomed the tributes to him,


particularly the remarks from Ian Paisley, the North Antrim MP. I very


warmly welcome in Paisley's remarks, they were very appropriate and


fitting, and I think they are in many ways representative of the


great work that his father, Ian Paisley senior, did along with


Martin McGuinness. Sinn Fein must now contemplate life without Martin


McGuinness imposed. Tonight, Alicia McCallion will be selected to run in


his place in the Foyle constituency. He figures are also being tipped for


a leadership role, including the health minister. Then there's the


finance minister, and the former MP Conor Murphy. Sinn Fein will reveal


who will lead them at Stormont on Monday.


So, how has that praise of Martin McGuinness by Ian Paisley


gone down in the DUP MP's North Antrim constituency?


BBC Newsline's Mark Simpson has been sampling the mood in Ballymena.


Ian Paisley's office is in the heart of Ballymena, and on the street


outside, last night's interview was the big talking point. Did you see


Ian Paisley last night? What did you think? I thought he was brilliant.


ORE: Very good and very true. It was measured. It was of the time, it has


to be said. Did he go too far? May the some people. Not for you? Not


funny. There's a great deal of religious people here but not many


questions and Mr Paisley showed his Kristian Moss Side. Did he go too


far? I think so. I think, after all the years... I'm not being


religious, maybe if he had confessed to some of the things he'd done over


the years. What do you think of Martin McGuinness? Not much, to tell


you the truth. Good riddance. It's hard to forget about his earlier


life and what he did. And he hasn't really come clean about that.


McGuinness? Maybe he's tried his best over the last ten years. We


also gathered some opinions in Londonderry. He will be missed, I'm


not sure who will replace him. He did a good enough job at humility


has to come out, and they have to be sorry for the things they did


throughout the years. Back in Ballymena, an appeal to all


politicians to focus on the future, not the past. Protestant, Catholic,


where a mixed community and we have to live together. And the


fighting... We don't want that back. We definitely don't want it back.


The election is still six weeks away but it is already clear that many


voters have strong views. A troubled GP surgery


in Portadown is to be taken over The GP practice which has more


than 5,000 registered patients, faced closure after its last


remaining doctor resigned and on Monday a contractor


who was in negotiations to take it It's been another long week


in politics and the continuing fallout from the RHI scandal has


focused attention on the role They play a pivotal role in


the relationship between a minister, his department and party


but they rarely face The controversy over the RHI scheme


has shaken this place to its core and prompted an Assembly election.


It's also brought the role of special adviser into the limelight.


On Tuesday, the DUP special adviser in the Department of economy said he


was stepping aside from anything to do with the RHI scheme. It followed


revelations his father-in-law is a claimant. Yesterday, another DUP


SPAD was centre stage. Andrew has felt that given what occurred


yesterday and, indeed, today, that he was becoming a distraction.


Andrew Crawford resigned over allegations he influenced a decision


to keep the renewable heat scheme open. He denies any wrongdoing. What


is the role of the special adviser, and how much power do they have?


These are people who are appointed to be a friend of the minister,


somebody to advise him or her, to provide non-civil service view, to


give a political aspect to the decision-making. But many SPADs are


proxy ministers. I've dealt with them, and some are there to advise,


but others are running the show. This former STO Pete SPAD says it is


vital for good government. You could get a potential political row


brewing between two parties and quite often the SPADs can get


together and reason something out and come up with a compromise, take


it back to their political masters the decision. One journalist who's


followed events closely says the rule is important but there is room


for improvement. There's not much in terms of a code of conduct for


SPADs. There's a lot more secrecy around what they're paid. It's only


recently Stormont has agreed to publish exactly what these SPADs are


paid. There are more than anywhere else in the UK. With the rolling the


spotlight, some are suggesting reforms, when and if devolved


government returns. Now, pupils in two local


schools were doing some But while some were looking


back to the past, others were experiencing the classroom


of the future. Our Education correspondent


Robbie Meredith explains all. The first place we're going to go is


reared de Janeiro in Brazil. Pupils in this college are seeing the world


and beyond without leaving their classroom. It might seem high-tech


but it simple. It is images filmed with a special camera, downloaded


onto a phone, then seen as virtual reality through these cardboard


glasses. The original footage doesn't look exciting but it is


turned into an immersive all-round experience. You've been on the moon,


different planets. It isn't like talking or writing all the time. It


is more fun. The boys are going from the Philippines to Australia and we


are touching on a range of subjects with science, geography, ICT. From


the virtually real to the really real. At this school, it's the end


of a three-year progress restoring this World War II tank. It was


rusty, and it wasn't this lovely shade of green it is now. It was


falling apart a little bit. Looking back on it and thinking what it's


done through the years and how it was brought back, it's fascinating


to figure out the back story to it. To schools, one looking back, one to


the future. Now the weather.


After the gloomy skies, the promise of something brighter heading into


the weekend, some sunshine at times, particularly tomorrow. A lot of dry


weather in the forecast as well but it'll be chilly. We will have some


light frosts around. It started out frosty this morning in parts of the


north-west. It turned into a lovely sunrise before the cloud came


rolling in. Through the afternoon, the cloud has moved away northwards


and it'll continue to erode away through this evening and overnight.


Grey skies, falling temperatures, Whiteley down to freezing and minus


three minus four in the countryside. Quite a sharp frost, white bread


with mist and fog as well. Tomorrow looks like the fine day, spells of


sunshine, the best of those during the frosty morning. The fog


eventually lifting as well. It is the afternoon, the cloud moves in


from the south, still dry, brighter spells but cold. If you're heading


along to the king span stadium tomorrow, it is dry and bright but


you'll need the layers. Tomorrow night, we have a bit more cloud than


tonight. Nevertheless, still cold, still places heading around zero.


They could be an icy patch, and more cloud on Sunday compared to


tomorrow. More showers towards the east. Other than that, dry. A few


bright spells but it is still pretty cold.


Not too bad. You can also keep in contact with us


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