Northern Ireland

Historical Abuse Inquiry told of Termonbacca abuse by older boys

Image caption St Joseph's Home, Termonbacca, was run by the Sisters of Nazareth order of nuns

A witness has told the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry that he was sexually abused by older boys at a children's home in Londonderry.

He also told the inquiry that the home, Termonbacca, was "run on starvation".

The children's home and another in Derry, Nazareth House, were run by the Sisters of Nazareth.

The Historical Abuse Inquiry is investigating abuse claims against children's residential institutions from 1922 to 1995.

The witness lived in Termonbacca in the 1950s and 1960s after being given to a priest by his mother.

He said the nuns gave the responsibility of looking after the younger boys to the older ones.

He said he was battered with a brush while he slept and said the older boys called out the names of children at night, had them stripped and used them "for their own entertainment".

The witness said he often pretended to be asleep, but had been abused a couple of times in this way.

He claimed the nuns never checked on them, but must have heard the names being called.

'Evil and hateful'

He also described being abused by a group of older boys in a laundry room.

He referred to one nun as "evil and hateful" with a built-in anger, who had made him kneel for hours until the blood stopped flowing to his knees.

He told the inquiry he was constantly hungry, fainting during Mass and that the home was run on starvation.

The inquiry, being held in Banbridge, County Down, is chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart and is considering cases in 13 residential institutions.

Public hearings are due to finish in June 2015, with the inquiry team to report to the Northern Ireland Executive by the start of 2016.

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