Nun gives evidence at NI abuse inquiry

Wednesday 30 April 2014 22.09
Three nuns from the Sisters of Nazareth order are giving evidence in Banbridge today
Three nuns from the Sisters of Nazareth order are giving evidence in Banbridge today

A nun in her 70s has given evidence to Northern Ireland's Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Banbridge.

The inquiry is examining what took place at 13 residential institutions run by churches, religious denominations, voluntary organisations and the state between 1922 and 1995.

It heard this morning that the nun and another member of the Sisters of Nazareth order were looking after more than 60 boys at the Termonbacca boys' home in Derry in the late 1950s.

The nun said she entered the order as a 17-year-old and took up her job in Derry two years later.

She had no formal training in childcare.

Several former residents made allegations of physical and verbal abuse about her in earlier hearings.

She has denied them all in her evidence today.

The inquiry also heard details of a memo written by a social worker about the two Nazareth homes in Derry in the mid 1950s.

The memo author stated it was impossible for the nuns to show affection because of the large numbers of children involved.

It said the children were being reared in "bleak lovelessness".

Bedwetting and allegations about how bedwetters were treated featured in earlier evidence to the inquiry.

Evidence was given today of a British Home Office memo about bedwetting and the recommendation that children with the problem should be referred to a medical officer.

It was written six years before the nun began working in Derry. She had never been made aware of the advice.

She has spent over 50 years working at different Nazareth facilities in the UK.