Northern Ireland

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry: Survivors speak out

The biggest public inquiry into child abuse ever held in the UK is due to begin its first public hearings in Northern Ireland later. Some of those who suffered physical, sexual, and emotional abuse tell BBC News NI what they hope the inquiry will achieve.

Kate Walmsley - abuse survivor

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Media captionKate Walmsley: "I just needed someone to ask me why was I not happy"

"The sexual abuse as a child, to me it became normal, it was going to happen. And I couldn't stop it. And then being an adult now, nobody realises that it hurts me much much more than it hurt me when I was a child.

"I just wish someone had asked me if I was happy. I was classified as a delinquent child and today that still really hurts because I was an abused child. I was a child crying for help. I was a hurt child.

"The word sorry to me doesn't mean anything anymore. In my life I've had that many sorrys that they don't mean anything."

Michael McMoran - abuse survivor

"I was constantly getting beaten by the nuns and if they couldn't do it they got the older boys who left the place to come up and they would fix you.

"It's very important to let people in the outside world know exactly what has been going on behind closed doors and people didn't believe it. They didn't believe nuns or brothers could do these things."

Margaret McGuckin - Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA)

"There was no love or care whatsoever in those places. It was constant humiliation or beatings and just being roughly pushed about and bullied. The bullying was carried out by the nuns and then the children took that from the nuns, and that was a way of life. Because they were the example. And then they carried on the bullying and it was a horrible, horrible place.

"We just don't want them to find that there was systemic abuse. We know that already but what else is going to happen? Is there anybody else going to be held accountable? The state are as guilty as the church here, in many ways, maybe more, because the state did not, as far as we're concerned, investigate these matters."

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