Six allege abuse at Anglican children’s home, panel hears
North’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry examines allegations at residence
Six people have made allegations of physical and sexual abuse at a residential home for children run by Evangelical Anglican missionaries in Northern Ireland, the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry has heard. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Six people have made allegations of physical and sexual abuse at a residential home for children run by Evangelical Anglican missionaries in Northern Ireland, a lawyer has told the North’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.
The home was run by the Society for the Irish Church Missions to the Roman Catholics, which was established to convert Catholics to Protestantism.
It ran Manor House Children’s Home, near Belfast in Lisburn, Co Down, from 1927 to 1984.
The organisation also had links to the Church of Ireland.
Two people have already given public evidence on the allegations during an earlier module of the inquiry concerning the transfer of child migrants to Australia.
Testimony is due to be taken from three people who resided at Manor House in the mid- to late-1960s, and from another who was there for a year in the early 1970s.
Christine Smith QC, for the inquiry, outlined complaints of physical and sexual abuse at the home.
The complaints involved physical and sexual abuse by staff and sexual abuse by visitors.
The inquiry began hearing evidence of alleged wrongdoing at the home during public sessions in Banbridge, Co Down, on Monday.
The missionaries in the organisation included Anglican evangelical clergy and laity in Ireland, Ms Smith told the inquiry panel.
The organisation has had no involvement in the provision of residential childcare in Northern Ireland for more than 30 years.
The presentation of evidence in this module of the inquiry is expected to take a week.
The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry is considering claims of emotional, physical and sexual abuse at 22 institutions in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 1995.
It is chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart.
It is also investigating actions at homes run by the Catholic church and by the state.
The inquiry was established by the Northern Ireland Executive and is expected to make recommendations on how to compensate victims.
In total, it is expected to hear from more than 300 witnesses during its public sessions.
It is due to submit its report to ministers in a year’s time.