Nuns begin legal action over abuse inquiry chair


Chris Marshall

TWO religious groups have begun legal action to remove the head of a national inquiry into historical child abuse from her post.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh heard how Ms O’Brien acted as legal counsel in two cases brought against the Poor Sisters of Nazareth which reached the House of Lords.

Both religious congregations ran children’s homes during the twentieth century which became subject to allegations of abuse during the 1990s.

The court heard how Ms O’Brien had acted on behalf of two pursuers during an appeal to the House of Lords on the issue of the timebar, which prevents action being taken once a period of time has passed. The case related to alleged abuse at the Nazareth House children’s home in Cardonald, Glasgow, which is now closed. The legal proceedings concluded in 2008.

Alastair Duncan QC said: “The particular concern that my clients have is that Ms O’Brien had acted for clients alleging abuse against them.”

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