Bishop of Derry asks politicians to prioritise historical abuse recommendations

Bishop Donal McKeown.
Bishop Donal McKeown.

The Bishop of Derry, Donal McKeown, has called on politicians to re-establish power-sharing in order to implement Anthony Hart's recommendations on dealing with the legacy of institutional abuse at Church and State homes across the North.

Bishop McKeown was speaking on the first anniversary of the publication of Judge Hart's Historical Abuse Inquiry (HAI) report on January 20.

He said: "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."