Northern Ireland news

Kincora victims call for building to be demolished after latest arson attack

Police are investigating a suspected arson attack at the former Kincora Boys' Home in east Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell

Victims abused in Kincora boys' home in east Belfast have again called for the building to be demolished following the latest arson attack.

The premises on Upper Newtownards Road were targeted on Sunday night.

Damage was caused to a front room and front window of the property at around 10.30pm.

READ MORE: Arsonists attack former Kincora boys' home

Police are treating the attack - the second time the former home has been attacked since December - as arson.

In 1981, three senior care staff from the home - William McGrath, Raymond Semple and Joseph Mains - were jailed for abusing 11 boys.

The building was recently used as office space. There have been plans to demolish the premises and build residential apartments on the site but these have not yet been progressed.

Gary Hoy, who was among those abused, appealed for the building to be demolished so that survivors do not have to relive their experiences.

Mr Hoy, a member of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (Savia), said every time he has to walk back the building, it re-traumatises him.

"Every time I have to see it, after the horrors that I and so many suffered in there, whilst I was a child in the so-called protection of the state, it just re-opens everything that I went through," he said.

Margaret McGuckin of Savia said demolishing the building would show respect to victims.

"It has to be put to bed. So many victims live near there," she said.

"Kincora will always be synonymous with pain and suffering.

"Many men have contacted me as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America to come forward to say that they were abused in the home."

Solicitor Claire McKeegan, of Phoenix Law, who represents Kincora survivors, said the building should be knocked down.

"While no one condones violence, or criminality of any kind, it's extremely hurtful for vulnerable people to walk past this every day," she said.

"It's a sore that never heals."

The home has been at the centre of allegations for decades it was used by a high-profile paedophile ring. 

It was investigated as part of the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.

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