Soldier ‘admitted abuse but was never prosecuted’

Pacemaker Press Belfast 01-09-2015: The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry has commenced its seventh thematic module of public hearings with an Opening Hearing at Banbridge Courthouse, Banbridge, Northern Ireland. Module 7 will focus on four juvenile justice institutions - St Patrick's Training School, Belfast; Rathgael Training School, Bangor; Lisnevin Training School, Newtownards; and Hydebank Wood Young Offenders' Centre, Belfast. The proceedings will commence with a brief opening address from the Inquiry's Chairman, Sir Anthony Hart.  After this, Senior Counsel to the Inquiry, Christine Smith QC, will make an opening statement in respect of all the institutions. Christine Smith QC pictured during the Inquiry.' Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 01-09-2015: The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry has commenced its seventh thematic module of public hearings with an Opening Hearing at Banbridge Courthouse, Banbridge, Northern Ireland. Module 7 will focus on four juvenile justice institutions - St Patrick's Training School, Belfast; Rathgael Training School, Bangor; Lisnevin Training School, Newtownards; and Hydebank Wood Young Offenders' Centre, Belfast. The proceedings will commence with a brief opening address from the Inquiry's Chairman, Sir Anthony Hart. After this, Senior Counsel to the Inquiry, Christine Smith QC, will make an opening statement in respect of all the institutions. Christine Smith QC pictured during the Inquiry.' Picture By: Arthur Allison.
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A serving soldier admitted abusing a boy from a residential home run by Anglican missionaries in Lisburn but was never prosecuted, a public inquiry lawyer said.

The serviceman first came to Northern Ireland at the start of the Troubles in 1969 and visited Manor House Children’s Home in Lisburn to take children on day trips and play football, his testimony to police said.

Stormont’s power-sharing administration has established an independent probe which has received allegations of physical and sexual wrongdoing at the institution run by the Society for the Irish Church Missions to the Roman Catholics.

Christine Smith QC, counsel for the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry, which is being held in Banbridge, said one alleged perpetrator was later interviewed by police.

“He took children on day trips, played football, and admitted having feelings for MH41 (one of the residents).

“He admitted abusing MH41 at his own home.”

The alleged victim also claimed the accused’s wife had sex with him.

The soldier later joined the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) in 1977.

In 2004 no prosecution was directed for the alleged early 1970s abuse, Ms Smith said.

The Society for the Irish Church Missions to the Roman Catholics was established to convert Catholics to Protestantism.

It ran Manor House Children’s Home in Lisburn from 1927 to 1984 and had links to the Church of Ireland.

“The organisation has had no involvement in provision of residential child care in Northern Ireland for more than 30 years.

There was also claims of “sexual touching” among children at Manor House and in one case a girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by another child.

“He was moved to a different home.

Six people have made allegations to the inquiry of physical and sexual abuse.

The inquiry began hearing evidence of alleged wrongdoing at Manor House during public sessions in Banbridge last week.

The HIA is considering harrowing claims of emotional, physical and sexual abuse at 22 institutions in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 1995.

Two of the witnesses have already given public evidence during an earlier module of the investigation concerning the transfer of child migrants to Australia.

Testimony is due to be taken from three people who resided at Manor House in the mid to late 1960s while another was there for a year in the early 1970s.

The Society for the Irish Church Missions to the Roman Catholics was established to convert Catholics to Protestants. It ran Manor House Children’s Home near Belfast in Lisburn, Co Down, from 1927 to 1984 and had links to the Church of Ireland.

In total, the Inquiry is expected to hear from more than 300 witnesses during public evidence sessions.