Report into RUC's handling of alleged abuse at Kincora home to finish in 2017

The Police Ombudsman's investigation into child sex abuse at the notorious Kincora Boys' Home in Northern Ireland is to conclude this year.

Thursday, 20th July 2017, 6:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:56 am
Kincora Boys home

Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire launched the review after alleged victims complained about the Royal Ulster Constabulary's (RUC) handling of reports in the 1980s of wrongdoing.

A separate public inquiry, which published its findings in January this year, has already rejected claims that senior establishment figures used the East Belfast institution to target children. Instead, it blamed failings by the health authorities and the RUC after dozens of residents raised concerns.

The Ombudsman's office said: "We are investigating a total of seven complaints about how police dealt with reports of child sex abuse at the Kincora Boys' Home in East Belfast.

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"The allegations include that police failed to fully investigate those reports, that they knew abuse was taking place but failed to act, and that police investigations were compromised by other security agencies.

"The Ombudsman's investigation will be concluded during 2017."

The Ombudsman's office liaised with Judge Sir Anthony Hart, who carried out the wide-ranging Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry into the allegations, to ensure there was minimal duplication of effort and that victims and survivors were dealt with compassionately.

The RUC held its own Kincora inquiries from 1980-1985.

Six people were imprisoned for sexual abuse as a result of the specialist RUC team's work, including three associated with other homes.

William McGrath, Raymond Semple and Joseph Mains, senior care staff at Kincora, were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys.

Sir Anthony's inquiry dismissed long-standing claims that senior politicians, civil servants and businessmen were complicit in a paedophile ring that operated at the home in the 1970s.

The report also rejected associated allegations that the UK security services knew what was going on and, instead of intervening, used the information to blackmail the establishment figures involved.

Publishing the HIA findings in January, Sir Anthony said of Kincora: "It was not a homosexual brothel, nor was it used by any of the security agencies as a honey pot to entrap, blackmail or otherwise exploit homosexuals.

"It is now time to finally lay these unfounded myths to rest."

Earlier this year a former Kincora resident said he would mount a legal challenge against the inquiry's findings.

Richard Kerr, who alleges he was abused by "very powerful people" with links to the Kincora home, does not accept the conclusions of Sir Anthony's four-year HIA inquiry.