Northern Ireland

Nazareth House: £50,000 settlement over historic abuse claim

nun Image copyright Getty Images

A woman who claims nuns beat her repeatedly and forced her to bathe in barely diluted disinfectant is to receive a £50,000 settlement.

She also said that she was made to eat food unfit for consumption at a children's home in Belfast.

The woman sued the Sisters of Nazareth over her time as a child in their care decades ago.

In the High Court, the woman was awarded the money plus costs. The nuns did not admit liability.

Her lawyers claim she endured repeated beatings with a leather strap, stick and a bunch of keys at Nazareth House.

They said she was subjected to assaults, neglect and humiliation.

The woman said fingernails were pressed into her arms and wrists and clumps of her hair were pulled out.

Court papers outlined allegations that she was forced to remain outdoors for lengthy periods in extremely cold weather when she was not wearing warm clothes.

Litigation only option

Speaking after the hearing, the woman's solicitor, Claire McKeegan of Phoenix Law, said the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry's recommendations for compensation for victims and survivors must be implemented.

"Given the ongoing failure of the secretary of state to implement a redress package for survivors and victims in Northern Ireland, we have no option than to litigate these matters before the courts," she said.

"The derisory amounts of compensation that have been recommended by the HIA report do not in any way reflect the cruelty and degrading treatment that was inflicted on children during their time in care and the profound and permanent effect that has had."