The Stormont Executive has announced that an inquiry will be held into historic institutional child abuse in Northern ireland.

In recent months victims of alleged clerical wrong doing and institutional child abuse in the North have been campaigning for the establishment of an inquiry similar to the Ryan Commission in the Republic which unmasked widespread cases.

Having heard the victims stories, the Stormont Executive has unanimously decided that an inquiry should be set up.

The format and remit is to be decided by a task force including nine Stormont departments headed by the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister and the Department of health.

The decision follows intensive lobbying of Stormont ministers by victims.

The taskforce is to report to the Stormont Assembly by next July and the abuse inquiry could get under way later next year.