Kincora abuse whistle-blower Valerie Shaw dies in nursing home

Valerie Shaw pictured on ITN
Valerie Shaw pictured on ITN

A former missionary who claimed she warned DUP leader Dr Ian Paisley about the abuse taking place at Kincora boys’ home has died in an Armagh nursing home.

Valerie Shaw went public after her claim to have flagged up concerns as early as the mid-1970s were dismissed by Dr Paisley.

In 1981 three senior care staff at the home – William McGrath, Raymond Semple and Joseph Mains – were jailed for abusing 11 boys.

During a televised press conference in the 1980s, Miss Shaw said: “I approached Dr Paisley on at least eight occasions and I asked him time and time again what he intended to do about this.”

In his own interview with ITN, Dr Paisley said the accusations made by Miss Shaw were “based on the evidence of Mr X”.

Dr Paisley said: “I met with Mr X, he wouldn’t meet Mr McGrath and I of course did the only thing I could do – put Mr McGrath from taking part in an Orange service in my church. And I regret that Miss Shaw didn’t go to the police.”

However, Miss Shaw was adamant that she did inform the police.

The then chief constable Sir Jack Hermon called in an outside chief constable to investigate the claims. There were also a number of allegations that the UK’s intelligence services knew about the abuse at Kincora.

Following an independent inquiry, Sir Anthony Hart concluded in 2017 that the home was not being used by any of the security agencies “as a honey pot to entrap, blackmail or otherwise exploit homosexuals”.

Sir Anthony added: “It is now time to finally lay these unfounded myths to rest.”

Miss Shaw, who died on Sunday, will be buried tomorrow at Carnmoney cemetery following an 11am service at Ballysillan Elim Church on the Crumlin Road in Belfast.