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2 November 2014 Edition

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Kincora announcement fuels fears of ‘cover-up’

• Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast

‘MI5 weren’t just aware of child abuse at Kincora Boys’ Home – they were monitoring it’ – Ken Livingstone

“THERE NEEDS to be an independent inquiry into the sexual abuse of boys in the Kincora Boys Home,” said Sinn Féin’s West Belfast MP Paul Maskey after the British Government said on 21 October that the Kincora Boys’ Home will not be part of its Woolf inquiry looking into child sex abuse but will be included in the North’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry chaired by Judge Anthony Hart.

The West Belfast MP said that, without the power to compel members of the British intelligence organisation MI5 or the other British security services, the Hart inquiry will be “impotent”.

Maskey said the suggestion by secretary of State Theresa Villiers that all British Government departments will “co-operate to the utmost of their ability in determining what material they hold that might be relevant” flies in the face of openness as the onus is with them to decide what is relevant and not Judge Hart.

At the centre of the Kincora affair was Housemaster William McGrath. McGrath was the head of loyalist paramilitary group Tara and a man central to the formation of the loyalist Ulster Defence Association in 1971.


• Kincora housemaster and Tara leader William McGrath

McGrath was also closely connected to senior figures in both major unionist parties as well as having links to the Orange Order.

Former Labour Party MP Ken Livingstone said earlier this year:

“MI5 weren’t just aware of child abuse at Kincora Boys’ Home – they were monitoring it. They were getting pictures of a judge in one case, politicians, a lot of the Establishment of Northern Ireland going in and abusing these boys.”

One of those most vocal in his reaction to October’s British Government announcement was Colin Wallace, an “information officer” at the British Army HQ psychological warfare section in the North in the mid-1970s.

Writing for the Spinwatch Public Interest Investigations website, Wallace wrote:

“It would appear that, in both England and Northern Ireland, MI5 prevented the police and/or the [British] Army from taking action against those who were systematically sexually abusing children. 

“Surely this obvious link between MI5’s apparent role in covering up abuse in both England and Northern Ireland should be investigated by a single inquiry and not two separate inquiries? 

“Also, any meaningful inquiry must have the power to demand the full disclosure of all relevant official documents and records and to subpoena witnesses to give evidence under oath.”


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