Traumatic revelations on Kincora – Naomi Long opinion piece for Belfast Telegraph

I would urge everyone who hasn’t already watched it to see last week’s harrowing revelations by former Kincora resident Richard Kerr about his traumatic experiences in the 1970s.

He claims he was hand-picked, alongside two other boys, and trafficked to London, where he was molested by powerful people at the centre of an alleged VIP paedophile ring. The dark shadow of accusation falls on Westminster itself, with the influential people believed to be figures there.

Richard’s brave decision to tell his story, linking the abuse at Kincora with similar at Elm Guest House and the Dolphin Square luxury flats for the first time, has further increased the arguments to investigate as part of the UK inquiry the abuse which took place at the east Belfast boys’ home.

While the Northern Ireland institutional abuse inquiry is the designated method to investigate what took place at Kincora, its chair, Sir Anthony Hart, does not have the same powers as the wider Home Office probe.

The Home Affairs Committee has even gone as far as to recommend in a report the inquiry be extended to include cases of abuse here. That same report referenced an Alliance motion in the Assembly, which passed unanimously, that called on Kincora to be included in the Westminster inquiry, which will be chaired by Justice Lowell Goddard.

I have written to the judge to put the case for Kincora’s inclusion and she has indicated she will respond in due course.

There remains a reluctance on behalf of Westminster to turn the full glare of the spotlight onto the goings-on at Kincora. The events that took place there were not only shameful, because it was young people in care being systematically abused, but, in addition, there was a purposeful cover-up.

That’s not just an accidental lack of interest, but rather a deliberate cover-up. The question remains why.

Anyone with an ounce of humanity would want to know what happened, bring to account those who committed the acts and help achieve justice for those who suffered the most. Richard Kerr’s testimony shows the abuse related to Kincora was not just confined to Northern Ireland. Neither should any investigation.

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