Child abuse survivors hope to agree interim payments this week

A child abuse survivors’ group has spoken of hope that interim payments for historical child abuse victims could be agreed this week with David Sterling, head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

Margaret McGuckin of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA) is on the expert panel meeting Mr Sterling on Friday.

The Panel of Experts on Redress was recently told by Jeffrey Donaldson MP that the DUP would support payments, amid mounting pressure on Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire.

Ms McGuckin, who suffered abuse as a child at Nazareth House children’s home, told The Irish News: “We were over the moon after the meeting with Jeffrey Donaldson.

“We hope that finally something can be put in place. We can’t go backwards. He said ‘too many people have passed’.”

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry found that child abuse survivors are entitled to redress, but the collapse of the Northern Ireland Executive means no redress scheme has been put in place.

Earlier this year, solicitor Claire McKeegan of Belfast firm KRW Law warned that the political deadlock would leave victims of historical child abuse with “no alternative” but to seek redress through the courts.