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Home boy ‘sexually abused’ by older boys

Sir Anthony Hart, chairman, Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, with, on right, Derry woman Geraldine Doherty, a member of the Inquiry panel..

Sir Anthony Hart, chairman, Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, with, on right, Derry woman Geraldine Doherty, a member of the Inquiry panel..

A witness has told a public inquiry that he was sexually abused by older boys while a resident at a children’s home run by the Catholic Church in Derry.

The man, who lived at St Joseph’s Boys’ Home, Termonbacca, in the 1950s and 1960s, said the institution was “run on starvation”.

The Termonbacca home and the nearby Nazareth House Children’s Home at Bishop Street were both run by the Sisters of Nazareth order of nuns.

The Historical Abuse Inquiry is investigating abuse claims against children’s residential institutions across the North from 1922 to 1995.

The inquiry, being held in Banbridge, County Down, is chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart and is considering cases in 13 residential institutions - including the two Derry homes.

Yesterday, a witness, who said he arrived in Termonbacca after being given to a priest by his mother, alleged the nuns gave the responsibility of looking after the younger boys to the older ones.

He said he was battered with a brush while he slept and said the older boys called out the names of children at night, had them stripped and used them “for their own entertainment”.

The witness said he often pretended to be asleep but had been abused a couple of times in this way.

He claimed the nuns never checked on them but must have heard the boys’ names being called.

He also described being abused by a group of older boys in a laundry room.

He referred to one nun as “evil and hateful” and accused her of making him kneel for hours until the blood stopped flowing to his knees.

He told the inquiry he was constantly hungry, fainted during Mass and that the home was run on starvation.

The inquiry is due to hear from more former Termonbacca residents next week.

Former residents of the home at Bishop Street - which housed girls - are expected to start giving evidence in a few weeks time.

The inquiry is also due to take witness testimony from nuns, former nuns and staff who worked in the homes.

 
 
 

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