Northern Ireland to make public apology over historical institutional abuse on 11 March 2022

On the 5th anniversary of the publication of the final report of the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry in Northern Ireland, the First Minister Paul Givan and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill HAVE confirmed that they will deliver the apology in Stormont on behalf of the powersharing executive on the 11 March.

This apology was a key recommendation of the Hart Inquiry.

It is understood that statements will also be made by representatives of state and religious institutions found by the HIA Inquiry to have been responsible for systemic failing/system abuse.

The financial redress scheme for survivors, which was another recommendation of the report, has already been set up and recent developments in respect of the same were covered in our blog from 24 January, here.

The First Minister said that “Our priority remains approaching an apology with care and sensitivity, and basing it upon the experience of victims and survivorsWe hope that a public apology will be seen as a valued means for acknowledging harm for victims and survivors of abuse, and for our society as a whole.”

The deputy First Minister O’Neill added “While no apology will make up for the shameful failures, and the pain that victims and survivors have endured as a result, we owe it to them to acknowledge the harm they suffered.”

The date of the proposed public apology has been announced in advance as the Northern Ireland Executive want victims and survivors to have an opportunity to submit their views on the arrangements and content of the apology.

If you wish to share your views on a public apology, you can make contact with the Historical Institutional Abuse Implementation Branch, who would like to hear your views before 10 February 2022. Further information can be found here: https://www.hiainquiry.org/terms-reference


Written by Caroline Farrell at BLM (caroline.farrell@blmlaw.com)

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