Northern Ireland

Brendan McAllister to be advocate for abuse survivors

Brendan McAllister
Image caption Brendan McAllister is a former Northern Ireland victims' commissioner

Former victims' commissioner Brendan McAllister is to be announced as a new advocate for victims of institutional abuse, the BBC understands.

He was one of four commissioners who advised the power-sharing executive on the needs of Troubles' victims and survivors between 2008 and 2012.

Mr McAllister has also worked on police reform and resolving disputes surrounding contentious parades.

It is understood his appointment will be formally announced on Tuesday.

He is to meet survivors of historical abuse then.

Survivors groups have been critical of the delay in awarding financial compensation recommended by a judicial inquiry headed by Sir Anthony Hart.

Civil servants are currently working on finalising draft legislation due to be brought to Westminster.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) studied allegations of abuse in 22 homes and other residential institutions between 1922 to 1995.

It found that children's homes run by some churches, charities and state institutions in Northern Ireland were the scene of widespread abuse and mistreatment of young residents.

Mr McAllister's appointment is intended to provide a voice and a channel for victims and survivors and ensure there is support for them, until a statutory commissioner may be appointed.

Mr McAllister is a former social worker who, in 1992, left his job to commit himself full-time to the development of mediation as a method of peace-building.

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