Video: 30 victims of institutional abuse have died and more are dying, says Willie Hay

Willie Hay has pointed out that 30 victims of institutional abuse in the North have already died, as he pressed for the urgent expedition of a compensation bill through Westminster.

Speaking during the second reading of the Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill in the British House of Lords yesterday, he said: “Some of these victims have lived for over 70 years with the abuse they suffered at the hands of these institutions. Some 30 victims have already died, and every day more are dying. It is very important that this House deals with this.​

“There was relief after agreement was reached by the main Northern Ireland political parties that the issue be dealt with here at Westminster.

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“Some noble Lords have mentioned the Assembly and the Executive. Sad to say, this issue should have been dealt with by our local devolved institutions in Northern Ireland.”

Video: December General Election could torpedo Historical Institutional Abuse Bill, warns DUP MP Gregory CampbellThe former Mayor of Derry City Council and Speaker of the Stormont Assembly said the bill was about helping victims move on.

“For the survivors, this about much more than monetary compensation; that is secondary to an apology from the state and the institutions responsible.

“This package enables them to move on with their lives in a better way and includes appropriate healthcare and support for the future.

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“As some noble Lords have already said, the chair of the inquiry, Sir Anthony Hart, recommended compensation, a memorial and a public apology to abused survivors. It is sad that Sir Anthony did not live to see the victims get their compensation. I would go further: for years, he was the only voice that many victims had to highlight their plight,” he said.

The senior DUP figure said a staggering number of people were affected.

“I understand that some 500 victims have come forward so far; I am told that there are about 2,500 victims altogether. What steps can the Government take to identify the victims who have not yet come forward to the inquiry?

“Once again, I welcome the Second Reading of this Bill. I hope that it can be processed very quickly and become law sooner rather than later.”