Northern Ireland news

Former Kincora boys' home in east Belfast targeted in arson attack

Police outside the former Kincora Boys' Home in east Belfast. Picture by Cliff Donaldson

A notorious former boys' home where children were abused has been targeted in an arson attack.

Damage was caused to the bottom floor of the vacant Kincora building in east Belfast.

The attack happened shortly after midnight. A car was heard speeding away from the property at the time.

Police and firefighters attended the blaze.

It is understood most damage to the already run-down building was confined to one room.

In 1980, three senior care workers were convicted of abusing boys at Kincora.

The facility, close to the Newtownards Road, was one of the those investigated by the Stormont-commissioned Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.

The inquiry dismissed long-standing claims that senior politicians, civil servants and businessmen were complicit in a paedophile ring that operated at the home in the 1970s.

The report also rejected associated allegations that the UK security services knew about what was going on and, instead of intervening, used the information to blackmail the establishment figures involved.

The future of the property, which was renamed many years ago, has been the source of controversy.

There are plans to demolish it and build residential apartments on the site.

Police have appealed for witnesses to the arson attack to come forward.

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Northern Ireland news