Committee to hold sex abuse inquiry

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The Justice Committee agreed to hold an inquiry into the criminal justice system's handling of issues around sexual abuse involving the republican movement, on 5 November 2014.

The proposal, by DUP committee chairman Paul Givan, was supported by members of the DUP, UUP, SDLP and Alliance.

Mr Givan said he had in mind the issues raised by the BBC Spotlight documentary on the case of Mairia Cahill and the UTV Insight programme on the case of Aine Adams.

Sinn Fein's Raymond McCartney suggested that the scope of the inquiry should be broadened to include sexual abuse in the wider community, such as the Kincora boy's home in east Belfast, but his counter-proposal was rejected by the committee.

The committee also raised concerns about the recommendation to abandon the project to build a police and fire training college at Desertcreat, County Tyrone.

The DUP's Edwin Poots described the situation as "a shambles" and Alban Maginness of the SDLP said local people "feel let down".

Members agreed to arrange a hearing with Justice Minister David Ford and the the project steering group.

The committee was briefed by officials on the draft Victim of Crime Charter, and on a proposed legislative consent motion on Northern Ireland provisions in the Modern Slavery Bill.

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