A year has passed since Judge Anthony Hart published his report on 20 January 2017 on historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland.
That report did two things. It publicly acknowledged the reality that many children had suffered in State, Church and other institutions over decades. Secondly it recommended that the NI Executive institute a redress scheme.
The absence of a devolved administration has meant that high hopes of redress have been dashed for a full year. In that time, more former residents of homes have died and others have continued to suffer in different ways. Scars inflicted in childhood affect people throughout their lives. Families, spouses and children can also suffer.
In the upcoming talks, I encourage our political leaders to prioritise the full implementation of the Hart recommendations. The needs of the suffering are more important than anything else.
- Bishop Donal McKeown is Bishop of Derry.
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