We must get to Kincora truth, says Kilclooney

PACEMAKER BELFAST 5/10/01'Kincora Boys Home
PACEMAKER BELFAST 5/10/01'Kincora Boys Home

A veteran unionist peer has said that everything must be done to uncover the truth of what happened at Kincora Boys’ Home.

Former Ulster Unionist deputy leader Lord Kilclooney said that the Home Office needed to examine whether the UK-wide inquiry into cover-ups of historical child abuse by establishment figures should extend to cover the notorious east Belfast case.

Last month the chairman of Stormont’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA), Sir Anthony Hart, told First Minister Peter Robinson that his inquiry did not have the power to compel witnesses or force the release of documents from the Ministry of Defence or the Home Office if they were unwilling to attend and be questioned about allegations that members of the Army or MI5 were aware of the Kincora abuse and failed to act.

He told Mr Robinson in a letter: “It is therefore my opinion that the HIA Inquiry may not be able to cover all of the issues ... there may be benefits to a UK-wide inquiry examining the relevant allegations into Kincora Boys’ Home.”

Lord Kilclooney, who raised the issue with the Government in a House of Lords question, told the News Letter: “There are security personnel who are coming forward and they should be called to give evidence.”

The crossbench peer said that he believed the Home Office “should give more thought to the matter” and added: “We need to know the full truth about Kincora.

“If the devolved institutions cannot carry out an adequate inquiry, then it should become the responsibility of the United Kingdom authorities to pursue the matter.”

Mr Robinson has called on the Home Office to include Kincora in its inquiry, describing it as “a national scandal”.