Abuse inquiry to start with Derry homes

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Allegations of abuse at two Derry homes run by the Sisters of Nazareth are to be the focus of the first public hearings of a new inquiry.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry will begin its consideration of allegations of abuse at St Joseph’s Home, Termonbacca, and Nazareth House Children’s Home in Bishop Street next January.

The inquiry, which is due to report to the Northern Ireland Executive in 2016, is examining the extent of child abuse in the Catholic church and state-run institutions in Northern Ireland.

Statements from alleged victims from the Derry homes will be heard when inquiry members visit Australia this month.

Another visit to Australia next year will hear about other institutions.

The closing date for anyone who wants to make an application to the inquiry is Friday 29 November.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry was established following the damning Ryan Report in the Republic of Ireland which uncovered decades of endemic abuse in some religious institutions.

The inquiry, which is chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart, held its third public hearing in Belfast today.