Northern Ireland news

Police probe arson at former Kincora Boys' Home in east Belfast

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

POLICE are investigating a suspected arson attack at a notorious former boys' home where children were abused.

A fire was reported inside the former Kincora Boys' Home in east Belfast shortly before 10.30pm on Sunday.

Damage was caused to a front room and front window of the property.

Fire crews attended the scene on Upper Newtownards Road and extinguished the blaze.

Police said the incident is being treated as arson.

They urged anyone with information to phone officers on 101, quoting reference number 2676 12/04/20, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

It follows an arson attack on the property in December.

Three senior Kincora staff were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys.

The home has been the focus of allegations of historical child sexual abuse for decades and was investigated as part of the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.

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

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

In October, some former residents of a derelict west Belfast training school claimed responsibility for an arson attack on the building the previous month.

The fire at St Patrick's Training School on Glen Road was carried out in revenge for physical and sexual abuse by staff, the Belfast Telegraph reported.

Formerly run by the De La Salle order, the site was among 22 schools and institutions investigated by the HIA inquiry.

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