The Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland has opened at Banbridge Courthouse this week.
The Inquiry, which will investigate institutional abuse in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995, began on Monday, January 13, and is independent from government.
It has two main components. One is the Acknowledgement Forum, whose task it will be to listen to the experiences of those who were children in residential institutions (other than schools) in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995.
The other component is the Statutory Inquiry. This is investigating whether children suffered abuse in the same institutions between 1922 and 1995,and has been gathering evidence from those who say they suffered abuse in those institutions, as well as evidence from the institutions themselves, and evidence from government and other public bodies such as health and social care trusts.
At the Opening Hearing of its public evidence sessions the Inquiry’s Chairman, Sir Anthony Hart, provided a short introductory address.
This was followed by the commencement of the Opening Address of Senior Counsel to the Inquiry, Christine Smith QC. She is scheduled to continue her Opening Address on January 14 and 15.
Hearings will initially focus on Institutions at Termonbacca and Sisters of Nazareth, Bishop Street Londonderry.
The dates on which subsequent hearings take place will be announced in due course.