A FORMER High Court judge has written to political leaders in Northern Ireland to urge them to implement a redress scheme for victims of institutional abuse.
Sir Anthony Hart, a former judge and the current Chairman of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, wrote to remind them of the recommendation of the HIA Inquiry report.
The report, released in January last year, recommended that victims and survivors of institutional abuse in Northern Ireland receive redress for their time in institutions.
Scroll down to see a list of the homes investigated...
"We understand that talks will resume between the Northern Ireland political parties in a further attempt to reach an agreement that will enable the appointment of a First Minister and deputy First Minister and the formation of an Executive," Sir Anthony said.
"My inquiry panel colleagues and I feel justified at this time in taking the highly unusual step of writing to the leaders of each of the political parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly," he added.
"We urge you and colleagues to ensure that if an Executive is formed that the Inquiry's recommendations are implemented in full by it as a matter of urgency."
Sir Hart said that the delays in establishing an Executive was having a negative effect on victims who are ill, or 'advancing in years.'
"The implementation of our recommendations is urgent because so many of those who waited many years for their voices to be heard, and who anxiously await the implementation of our recommendations, are now advancing in years and/or in poor health, and for them the prospect of more delay adds to the burden so many have carried for so long," he said.
The former judge also said that in an event that an Executive not be formed, the British Government must implement the Inquiry's recommendations.
"Should an Executive not be formed, then it will be for HM Government to carry out all the functions of government in Northern Ireland.
"Should that happen, we ask all the political parties in Northern Ireland to publicly call upon the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to recognise the welcome for our Report expressed by all the parties in the Assembly debate of January 23 2017 and to implement the Inquiry’s recommendations in full as a matter of urgency."
The Inquiry's Report is the culmination of four years’ work by the Inquiry. It is 2,300 pages long and comprises 10 volumes.
There were 223 days of public hearings, which formally opened on January 13, 2014 and concluded on July 8, 2016.
During the course of the public evidence sessions the Inquiry heard from 527 witnesses. Of these 246 were applicants who gave evidence in person and a further 87 applicants’ statements were read into the record.
In total 526 individuals made a formal application to speak to the Inquiry and 330 applications were from individuals residing in Northern Ireland.
Are you a victim of institutional abuse from a Northern Irish home and want to tell your story? Email Erica on [email protected]
The HIA Inquiry are investigating 18 homes across Northern Ireland, including local authority, Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic homes which include:
Local Authority Homes
· Lissue Hospital, Lisburn
· Kincora Boys’ Home, Belfast
· Bawnmore Children’s Home, Newtownabbey
· Fort James and Harberton House, Derry
Juvenile Justice Institutions
· St Patrick’s Training School, Belfast
· Lisnevin Training School, Co. Down
· Rathgael Training School, Bangor
· Hydebank Young Offenders’ Centre
· Millisle Borstal
Secular Voluntary Homes
· Barnardo’s Sharonmore Project, Newtownabbey
· Barnardo’s Macedon, Newtownabbey
Roman Catholic Voluntary Homes
· St Joseph’s Home, Termonbacca, Derry
· Nazareth House Children’s Home, Derry
· Nazareth House Children’s Home, Belfast
· Nazareth Lodge Children’s Home, Belfast
· De La Salle Boys’ Home, Rubane House, Kircubbin
· St Joseph’s Training School for Girls, Middletown, Co. Armagh
· Institutions run by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Derry, Belfast and Newry (added November 2015)
Church of Ireland
· Manor House, a children’s home near Lisburn