MLA: Kincora revelations make case for full inquiry

Kincora Boys home, East Belfast
Kincora Boys home, East Belfast
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A DUP MLA has said that it is “indefensible” for the Kincora scandal to be left out of a UK-wide inquiry into historic child abuse after declassified files showed that civil servants in the 1980s privately believed that aspects of the scandal had never been fully investigated.

East Belfast MLA Robin Newton said that documents reported in Monday’s News Letter meant that the Secretary of State’s opposition to Kincora being included in the Home Office’s UK-wide inquiry was “indefensible”.

Files show a consensus among senior civil servants that the scandal should be investigated by the most thorough form of public inquiry – yet that did not happen.

Different high-ranking officials repeatedly gave the view that an inquiry under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 was unavoidable given the level of concern about allegations that boys had been abused over 20 years at Kincora by senior public figures and that their crimes had been covered up. But the officials were ultimately overruled.

Mr Newton said: “These files confirm that there has always been dread in Westminster about too much searching into the activities at Kincora.

“The fact that Northern Ireland-based civil servants wanted a full inquiry is to their credit. The blocking of a full inquiry by Westminster politicians and civil servants confirms the level of fear within the senior echelons of the establishment.”

He said that the seniority of the Government ministers consulted about Kincora showed that “this children’s home seemed to take a higher precedence in Westminster than the average boys’ home”.

He added: “Nothing has changed and the victims continue to be let down by the present Secretary of State. The refusal of the Secretary of State to include Kincora within the Home Office’s UK-wide inquiry into historical abuse is indefensible.”