Northern Ireland abuse inquiry begins investigation into notorious Kincora boys' home
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Northern Ireland abuse inquiry begins investigation into notorious Kincora boys' home

THE Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry has begun hearing evidence into the notorious Kincora boys' home in east Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The Kincora Boys' Home was a care home in the city where child sexual abuse took place over throughout the 1970s and early 1980s.

Three senior care staff at Kincora were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys. One of those jailed was William McGrath, believed to have been an MI5 agent. Also jailed were Joseph Mains and Raymond Semple.

Some campaigners are unhappy with the remit of the Northern Ireland based HIA inquiry, which has been examining claims of abuse at state and church run residential institutions between 1922 and 1995, because the probe does not have the powers to compel security services witnesses to give evidence or produce documents, unlike the ongoing Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse inquiry in England and Wales.

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Last week victim Gary Hoy, 54, lost an appeal to overturn a ruling by Home Secretary Theresa May which banned extending the Goddard inquiry to include Kincora, stating that child protection was a devolved matter.

The HIC inquiry is being chaired by retired High Court judge Sir Anthony Hart.

Proceedings at Banbridge courthouse began today and the court will hear a detailed overview of the home, before witness evidence is heard over the next three to four weeks.

The inquiry will investigate the  nature and extent of sexual abuse perpetrated on residents of Kincora, abuse that has already resulted in the arrests, convictions and sentencing of three men Mains, Semple and McGrath.

Mains was sentenced to a six year prison sentence, Semple to five years, and McGrath to a four-year term.

The inquiry will also investigate whether there were systemic failures to prevent such abuse on the part of those responsible for the management of Kincora, or on the part of other state entities. The following entities will be investigated.