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Church News

Historic abuse victim gives memoir to head of Ireland's Catholic Church in bid for action

by Lydia Davies

A campaigner from Belfast has given the head of Ireland’s Catholic Church a copy of her memoir, hoping it will encourage him to influence religious organisations that have not yet contributed to compensation for victims of historical sexual abuse.

Margaret McGuckin, author of 'I Did This For You', presented her book to Archbishop Eamon Martin. She dedicated it to all children in care systems, particularly her late brother Kevin, who suffered severe abuse.

She told the Belfast Telegraph“I gave Archbishop Martin my book so he can understand our struggle — not just with the religious orders but also with dealing with The Executive Office."

McGuckin called out two Catholic orders for not contributing to the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Redress Board. Despite admissions of abuse by the Sisters of Nazareth and De La Salle Brothers in 2014, no donations have been made to the victims' fund.

McGuckin, leader of Savia (Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse), expressed frustration over the ongoing battle for justice. She told the outlet: “There's no end to it. Victims constantly have to fend for themselves.”

Highlighting the inadequacy of apologies from these orders, the author expressed deep mistrust towards them due to their actions in southern Ireland, saying: “They’ve not even donated to the redress fund... It feels like they’re escaping with minimal repercussions."

Paula Bradshaw, chair of The Executive Office Committee, emphasised the need for decisive action, telling the outlet: “It’s crucial that religious orders promptly contribute to redress for their role in harming countless innocent children.”

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