Long calls for Official Secrets Act to be temporarily suspended for Kincora whistle-blowers

Naomi Long MP is to call for the Official Secrets Act (OSA) to be temporarily suspended so witnesses and whistle-blowers can give evidence regarding allegations around Kincora Boys’ Home.

The Alliance MP will make the request today (Wednesday) during an adjournment debate she secured in the House of Commons on investigating historic child abuse allegations.

It marks the latest stage in Mrs Long’s long-running campaign to have allegations surrounding security service involvement in Kincora investigated, a battle that received a blow yesterday when the Government announced the East Belfast home would not be part of its wider-ranging Home Office inquiry.

Speaking before the adjournment debate, Mrs Long said the Government’s announcement would not stop the quest for justice for victims and survivors of Kincora.

“Although it has been over 30 years since the successful prosecution of three members of staff at Kincora, disturbing allegations persist that not only did a paedophile ring operate there and authorities were neglectful towards those placed in their custody, but also that a conscious decision was made to allow the abuse to continue for over a decade after it was first uncovered, both to protect informers and to gather information on abusers to be used for blackmail.

“In order to allow witnesses and whistle-blowers to give evidence, the OSA needs to be temporarily suspended so those who can substantiate allegations of intelligence service cover-up can assist the inquiry without fear of prosecution themselves. Whatever files the security services have need to be made accessible to the inquiry without repercussions.

“Previous attempts at investigations into Kincora were hindered and those who attempted to challenge what was happening were prosecuted for breaking the OSA. Yet again we have seen heel dragging and deflection from the Government when there is an attempt to have this matter fully investigated.

“There are so many unanswered questions relating to Kincora that the Government’s reluctance to address this merely adds another to the list: namely, what do they have to hide?”


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