UK Labour pledges to include Kincora home in inquiry

Abuse of boys in the Kincora home in Belfast in the 1970s would be part of inquiry if Labour gets into power

The Labour Party in Britain has said it will include the sexual abuse of boys in the Kincora home in Belfast in the 1970s in a UK-wide inquiry if it gets into power.

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Ivan Lewis said: "It is vital that we support the survivors, ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice and ensure this never happens again in our country."

A former army intelligence officer has claimed spy chiefs ordered him to “stop digging” when he reported a possible paedophile ring at the home.

Last July, British home secretary Theresa May announced a public investigation into whether paedophiles were sheltered in government, the national health service, police, the courts and the BBC. Kincora was excluded.


Brian Gemill, a former captain in the intelligence corps, claimed he was told to stop investigating sexual abuse at the home in the 1970s. He told the BBC he was ordered to halt his probe by a senior MI5 officer in 1975 after presenting a report on the allegations.

In February it was announced that the inquiry would be chaired by Justice Dame Lowell Goddard, a New Zealand high court judge. A separate judge-led inquiry in Northern Ireland is due to investigate events at Kincora but cannot formally compel MI5 to hand over documents or force witnesses to testify.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has said the British government and its agencies, including the ministry of defence and MI5, will give the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry "the fullest possible degree of co-operation".

Mr Lewis promised a Labour government would include Kincora in the terms of reference of the abuse inquiry headed by Justice Goddard. "We will take all necessary steps to secure truth and justice for the victims."

The home employed William McGrath, head of an extreme Protestant loyalist group called Tara and an alleged MI5 informant. He and two other members of staff – William Semple and Joseph Mains – were jailed in 1981 for sexually assaulting boys in their care.

Amnesty International Northern Ireland director Patrick Corrigan said the claims relating to Kincora were "deeply disturbing" and called on all parties to to deliver justice to the victims. – (PA)