Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent
Monday 30 May 2016
An inquiry into child abuse across a range of institutions in Northern Ireland will focus on Tuesday on the Kincora boys home scandal including allegations that MI5 blackmailed a paedophile ring which operated there in the 1970s.
The historical institutional abuse inquiry will hear evidence from men who were abused at Kincora when they were children and their allegations that the perpetrators were protected because they were state agents spying on fellow Ulster loyalists.
A number of Kincora abuse victims have tried through the courts to force the scandal to be included in the national investigation into allegations of establishment paedophile rings operating in Westminster.
Gary Hoy tried and failed last month to force the home secretary to include Kincora in the Westminster inquiry. Hoy and others fear that the Kincora inquiry, which is based in Northern Ireland and taking hearings at the court in Banbridge, County Down, will not have access to sensitive MI5 intelligence files on the people who ran Kincora.
Amnesty International has described the Kincora scandal as one of the most disturbing to emerge from the Ulster Troubles.
Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty’s director in Northern Ireland, said: “Nothing less than a full public inquiry – with all the powers of compulsion which that brings – can finally reveal what happened and the role that the security services may have played in the abuse of these vulnerable boys.”
At least 29 boys were sexually abused by Kincora housemaster and prominent Orange Order member William McGrath and others at the east Belfast home. One boy is said to have committed suicide following years of abuse by jumping off a ferry into the Irish Sea in the late 1970s.
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