Northern Ireland

Abuse inquiry: 'Termonbacca beatings left me deaf'

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

A former resident of St Joseph's Catholic children's home, Termonbacca, has told the Historical Abuse Inquiry that he is partially deaf because of the beatings he received there.

Michael McMoran said one nun targeted him for 10 years, hitting him about the head with a brush, mop or tree branch.

The 53-year-old told the inquiry, sitting in Banbridge, that one nun lost her temper and he was her scapegoat.

In a statement, the nun said she had not beaten him with a stick or a strap.

She said she was surprised that he had made such allegations.

When that statement was read to Mr McMoran, who has waived his right to anonymity, he said: "She's a liar."

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Media captionMichael McMoran said he is partially deaf because of the beatings he received at St Joseph's Catholic children's home

He described the nun as "wicked".

Later, the inquiry heard from a 44-year-old woman who said she had been sexually abused by a priest while she was at Termonbacca children's home.

Allison Diver, who has also waived her right to anonymity, said the priest abused her several times.

In a statement to the inquiry, she said that on one occasion when he assaulted her, she vomited and the nuns made her clean it up.

She never told anyone that the abuse had taken place, the inquiry heard.

Ms Diver said she did not tell told social workers anything, adding that "you learned to sit there and shut up because they could move you to 40 homes".

The priest has given a statement to the inquiry denying all allegations against him.

Afterwards, Ms Diver told the BBC it had been terrifying at the beginning to give evidence to the inquiry.

Image caption Allison Diver, who has waived her right to anonymity, said the priest abused her several times

"I can't believe I was strong and I was able to go through it and I feel so so much better for being able to do it," she said.

"It actually starts to help make sense of things in my own head now. It takes away the keys and locks that I would be putting on my own memories."

She said she had not expected the priest to admit the alleged abuse.

"It would have been nice if he had admitted it, but I would never be lucky that way," she said.

"Although it would have been easier to close the chapter by him being able to say: 'I did that and I'm sorry'."

The inquiry is investigating abuse claims against children's residential institutions in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 1995.

Termonbacca and another Derry home, Nazareth House, were run by the Sisters of Nazareth.

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.