Spotlight on Orange Order after historic sexual abuse claims

Orange Order on parade
Orange Order on parade
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Two women have claimed they were abused by members of the Orange Order - but the organisation “did nothing” when made aware of the allegations, according to the Impartial Reporter.

The paper has been carrying out a long-running investigation into historic abuse in Co Fermanagh.

According to a report on the BBC, more than 50 victims have named 60 alleged abusers. A police taskforce has been set up to investigate the claims.

The Orange Order said it would fully co-operate with any investigation.

The victims claim some of the abuse, which dates back several decades, took place in and around Orange halls during band practice and after parades.

And when asked about the allegations this morning, a PSNI spokesman said: “We can confirm these cases were previously reported, investigated and directed upon by DPP/PPS.

“Both cases are being reviewed to ensure all lines of necessary inquiry were completed at the time and to determine if any new evidence is now available.

“Detectives have maintained contact with the victims throughout and will continue to do so.

“The public should be assured that detectives in Public Protection Branch treat every allegation of child sexual abuse seriously, whether it happened recently or many years ago. Whilst we understand how difficult it can be for someone to report this type of abuse, victims can have confidence that their reports will be dealt with seriously, sensitively and with the utmost care and respect by specially trained Detectives. Please contact Police on 101 or through the dedicated email address at historicalabuse@psni.pnn.police.uk where you will be put in contact with a specially trained officer.”

A spokesperson for the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland said: “These are very serious allegations.

“The Orange Institution will fully co-operate with any PSNI investigation.”

No further public comment will be made at this point.