Survivors support group in funds plea

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A support group for survivors of institutional abuse has appealed for funding from the Northern Ireland Executive.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ following the launch of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, Margaret McGuckian, of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA), said the mutual support group had “run out of money”.

She called on the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister to help the group “continue our good work”.

“We do a lot of good work with people who have suffered institutional abuse but we currently receive no funding. No one is helping us and today we say to Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness: ‘Please help us - we need help’.”

She added: “We have been given some office space free of charge for now but we have no money to pay the rent and no money to furnish it. I did an interview with someone who suffered abuse on a park bench last week - the situation is that serious,” she added.

SAVIA was set up four years ago to campaign for a inquiry into historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland.

As the terms of the inquiry process were revealed in Derry this week, Ms McGuckian said she was delighted that “the truth will finally be heard”.

She added: “Finally, now to see a face behind this, in Sir Anthony Hart, is reassuring. We’ve been campaigning for years and to see something constructive happening and for such a high profile person to be appointed is welcome.”