There is no evidence to support allegations that security agencies were complicit in the abuse of children at the former Kincora Boys’ Home in east Belfast, the North’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry has found.
Inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart, a former high court judge, debunked what he described as decades of “ill-informed comment, half-truths and deliberate misrepresentations masquerading as established facts”.
He said the inquiry was satisfied there is no evidence to support any allegations that prominent individuals were involved in sexual abuse of Kincora residents.
It emerged – when the 2,300-page, 10-volume report into abuse at 22 homes in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995 was published on Friday – the panel was also satisfied Kincora was not a homosexual brothel and not used by any security agencies as a “honeypot” to entrap, blackmail or otherwise exploit men.
Hundreds of British government files and secret intelligence documents were examined by the inquiry panel.
It confirmed the sexual abuse of 38 boys at Kincora was perpetrated by three members of staff – Joseph Mains, Raymond Semple and William McGrath – who were convicted for their crimes.
Over the years, there have been allegations made about various individuals, linking them to a paedophile ring at Kincora.
Among them were Northern Ireland Office civil servants, businessmen and the late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s trusted spy chief Sir Maurice Oldfield, a former head of the Secret Intelligence Service who was later the security co-ordinator in Northern Ireland.
Sir Anthony said: “We are satisfied there is no credible evidence to support any of these allegations.”
He was also dismissive of allegations made by ex-British army intelligence operative Colin Wallace and critical of MI5’s role in what is known as the “Caskey Phase Three” investigations, the RUC probe into Kincora in the 1980s.
He said MI5 “consistently obstructed a proper line or inquiry”.
Sir Anthony concluded his report by saying although three men were convicted of offences against boys in their care and there were numerous missed opportunities to detect the abuse and take action, “there is no evidence whatsoever of the hostel being used by security forces as a honey trap, and we believe it is now time to finally lay these unfounded myths to rest”.
Clint Massey said the abuse he suffered as a 16 year old at Kincora has had a devastating impact on his life and he has concerns about the inquiry’s conclusions.
He told The Irish Times: "I think there was a lot more to it and there is a lot of people across the water going great that's that out of the road now.
“You don’t give those people the opportunity to make their minds up because their whole business is hiding things. “They are habitual hiders of things and secrets.”