Northern Ireland news

Notorious Kincora boys' home building to be demolished to make way for £1.8 million apartment block

Apartments plan for the old Kincora house Picture by Hugh Russell.

A FORMER boys' home in east Belfast at the centre of historic child abuse is to be demolished to make way for a £1.8 million apartment block.

Following a second arson attack on the empty building on the Upper Newtownards Road a year ago, victims abused in the notorious institution repeated calls for the building to be demolished.

Developers Hagan Homes has now lodged plans for nine apartments, but told the Belfast Telegraph it is "very aware of the sensitivities".

Set up in 1958 to provide full-time accommodation for teenage boys, it closed in 1980 after it emerged at least 29 boys were sexually abused during their time there.

A year later, 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 and there have been plans for some time to demolish the premises and build apartments on the site, with members of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (Savia) appealing for it to proceed as passing the unchanged facade re-traumatised them.

The group said many victims still live close by and the site "will always be synonymous with pain and suffering".

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Northern Ireland news