NI Historical Abuse Inquiry to hear from children sent to Australia

Saturday 30 August 2014 22.33
The Historical Abuse Inquiry has spoken to over 60 people who were sent to Australia
The Historical Abuse Inquiry has spoken to over 60 people who were sent to Australia

Northern Ireland's Historical Abuse Inquiry is to hear evidence about the practice of sending children from homes in the North to institutions in Australia.

Documents examined by the Inquiry have revealed how in the decade up to 1956 the child migration scheme was in place and it has gathered testimony from over 60 people who were sent to Australia.

The Historical Abuse Inquiry was set up by Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive.

It is tasked with investigating what took place at residential institutions, run by the state and religious organisations in the 73 year period up to 1995.

It is chaired by a retired High Court Judge, Sir Anthony Hart.

It sits at Banbridge Courthouse.

During its first module it heard evidence from former residents, staff and others from two residential homes run by the Nazareth Order in Derry.

From Monday next, it will begin examining the practice of selecting children from homes in Northern Ireland and sending them to institutions in Australia.  

It was part of a UK government child migration scheme that existed from 1946 to 1956.  

Already Inquiry staff members have been to Australia and interviewed 66 participants. 

Many will give their evidence by video link to public sessions of the Inquiry, beginning on Monday morning.  

The Inquiry's Australian module is expected to run for three weeks.