Kincora to be excluded from British inquiry on abuse allegations

Inquiry confined to England and Wales but will liaise with Hart Inquiry

Allegations of child abuse at the Kincora boys’ home in Belfast in the 1970s will not be investigated by a major British inquiry to be headed by a New Zealand judge, British home secretary Theresa May has said.

The inquiry to be headed by Justice Lowell Goddard will be confined to abuse allegations in England and Wales, but will liaise with the Hart Inquiry, which is investigating allegations of abuse in institutional homes in Northern Ireland.

“Child protection is a devolved matter, it is right that other jurisdictions in the United Kingdom look at the issues within their own geographical remit so that they can take the action which is right to address the specific issues uncovered,” Ms May said.

“I am clear that no institution or individual should be able to fall through the gaps because of geographical boundaries.” She added that rules would be established to ensure that information was shared between inquiries.


Allegations about Kincora were first made in 1980, when the then SDLP leader Gerry Fitt raised questions in the House of Commons.

Charges have continued to be made that the British security service, MI5, exploited Kincora as an intelligence asset by blackmailing men who had abused boys there.

Mark Hennessy

Mark Hennessy

Mark Hennessy is News Editor of the The Irish Times