Institutional abuse meetings begin

A new probe into historical institutional abuse was launched on Friday by Junior Minister Martina Anderson.

Ms Anderson, together with her junior ministerial colleague, Jonathon Bell, held the first of a series of meeting with survivors of institutional abuse.

The ministers have previously met with representatives of a support group for survivors, including Derry man Jon McCourt.

The junior ministers will continue to meet with survivors of abuse over the summer months to gather more information ahead of an inquiry.

Ms Anderson said she wants to ensure the process is carried out properly. “The issues raised by historical institutional abuse are very complex and highly emotive. It is imperative that we take on board the views of victims and survivors to ensure that their needs are addressed.

“We are determined to get this process right; it will not be an easy task as the range of needs is wide and varied, but we will ensure that the voices of those affected are heard,” she said.

Minister Bell added; “It is of vital importance that we shape the inquiry to deal with the issues raised and, hopefully, bring some form of closure to those still living with the legacy of the horrific actions of the past.”

The ministers are expected to present their findings to the Executive by the autumn.