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British secret services Orange Order Kincora Child abusers

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Sceala Irish Craic Forum Discussion:     British secret services Orange Order Kincora Child abusers

This is news today, hope they get to the truth of what went on at Kincora Boys home. The victims get justice and any of the evil who are still around sent to jail.
Will the crimes at Kincora finally highlight just how immoral and evil parts of the British secret services dirty war in Ireland have been over the years.

Police re-open child sex abuse investigation at Kincora boys home in Belfast

The probe will cover attacks on boys over two decades at the home in the north of Ireland ' suspected to have been regularly visited by establishment figures

Police have reopened an investigation into child abuse at a notorious care home linked to claims of a cover-up by the secret service to protect top level perverts, the Sunday People reports.

The probe will cover attacks on boys over two decades at the Kincora home in the north of Ireland ' suspected to have been regularly visited by establishment figures.

Sources told the investigative 'website Exaro that the Police Service of the north of Ireland is 'asking to interview former residents. Kincora was home to 168 boys aged 15 to 18 between 1963 and 1968.

Three senior care staff were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys.
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But it is feared there were many more victims and abusers.

Since the case there have been suggestions that paedophilia at Kincora was linked to Anglo-Irish relations and British intelligence services. There are 'unsubstantiated claims that visitors to the home in East Belfast included military, 'politicians and civil servants.

The PSNI returned to the Kincora files as a result of information 'received by a public inquiry launched last May into 'historical institutional abuse in the north of Ireland'.

Retired judge Sir Anthony Hart is chairing the inquiry. It is looking at abuse in residential institutions in the province between 1922 and 1995 and is due to report in 2016. The new probe comes 28 years after a public inquiry chaired by Judge William Hughes ruled there had been no extensive ring of abusers centred on Kincora.

Three years earlier, in 1982, local politician Joshua Cardwell had committed suicide after being questioned over Kincora.

He was an East Belfast 'councillor who had chaired the committee responsible for children's homes in the city.

Concerns over Kincora were raised in a 1996 book, which claimed one of the convicted child abusers, William McGrath, was an MI5 agent. The Kincora Scandal, by ex-BBC journalist Chris Moore, alleged prominent unionist McGrath had sickening sex attacks on kids covered up. The book said two police probes were obstructed by 'the establishment' in Britain.

McGrath, the housefather of Kincora, was dubbed 'The Beast' by detectives. He was said to be leader of a shadowy paramilitary-style organisation of fanatical Protestants called Tara.

He was also said to be linked to senior unionist politicians, including Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley, who officiated at the weddings of two of McGrath's children.

Police were 'anonymously tipped off about McGrath a decade before his 'arrest. The call is 'alleged to have been made by a man who was also involved in the Orange Order and the Tara movement.

He fell out with McGrath and later repeatedly attempted to 'expose his involvement in Kincora.

In 1990 the BBC programme Public Eye claimed the man made allegations about McGrath in 1975. Those claims were passed to MI5, according to a former Army 'intelligence officer who was said to have been blocked from doing 'anything with the information.

Former Army press officer Colin Wallace, who was based in Belfast, has insisted the authorities knew boys were being abused at Kincora six years before they acted.

The home was opened in 1958 and run by health authorities. It closed in 1980 and three senior members of staff were suspended. They were later convicted of 23 sexual offences against 11 boys in their care between 1960 and 1980.

Joseph Mains, the warden at Kincora, and his deputy Raymond Semple both admitted all charges. McGrath denied the allegations but changed his plea at Belfast Crown Court. It was claimed in court that abuse took place in bedrooms, while boys were watching 'television, in the toilets and on the first floor landing.

McGrath,and Semple got four years each and Mains got six. McGrath continued to be the 'subject of speculation because of his links to religion and a loyalist Orange lodge. He died in 1991.

In a statement to Exaro and the Sunday People, a PSNI spokesman said: 'There is currently a public inquiry on-going in relation to 'historical abuse. Individuals are being encouraged to contact Judge Hart, who is heading the inquiry.

'Where appropriate, his inquiry team will pass this information to the PSNI. The PSNI has received a number of referrals.'

The reopened Kincora case underlines calls by people who suffered abuse as children for 'counselling and other support 'services to run alongside police investigations, as reported by the Sunday People and Exaro last week.

London's Metropolitan Police paedophile unit has two 'investigations running into claims of child sex abuse allegedly involving VIPs 'including senior political figures.

Police interest in historical child abuse was heightened by the 'exposure of paedophile BBC star Jimmy Savile. Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has said: 'We cannot afford another Savile moment in five or ten years.'

Kincora page on
Kincora Boys' Home
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The Kincora Boys' Home was a children's home in Belfast that was the scene of a notorious child sex abuse scandal.

1 Scandal
2 Allegations
3 Health Board response
4 Inquiry
5 References


The scandal first came to public attention in January 1980 after a news report in the Irish Independent. On 3 April 1980 three members of staff at the home, William McGrath, Raymond Semple and Joseph Mains, were charged with a number of offences relating to the systematic sexual abuse of children in their care over a number of years. All three were later convicted and jailed. Mains, the former warden, received a term of six years, Semple, a former assistant warden, five years and McGrath was jailed in December 1981 for four years.[1]

Allegations were later made that the Royal Ulster Constabulary had been informed of the abuse at the home for years previously, but had not moved to prevent it. In his 1999 book The Dirty War, Martin Dillon claims that McGrath, who was also the leader of an obscure loyalist paramilitary group called Tara, may have been employed by MI5 since the 1960s and was being blackmailed into providing intelligence on other loyalist groups.[2] The tabloid press then linked the home with a whole series of establishment figures without any evidence being provided.

Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church which he founded in 1951, was accused of failing to report the fact of McGrath's homosexuality to the relevant authorities although he initially denied ever being advised by his informant, a church member, Valerie Shaw, that McGrath worked in a boys' home. McGrath was himself married with children. Paisley later gave more versions acknowledging learning from Miss Shaw about McGrath's homosexuality.[citation needed]

During this time, it is alleged by satirical magazine Private Eye, high-ranking members of the Whitehall Civil Service and senior officers of the UK military were involved in the sexual abuse of boys in Kincora.[citation needed]
Health Board response

In response to growing coverage in the media, the Eastern Health and Social Services Board decided to institute a policy of not employing "homosexuals" in any caring roles[citation needed]. Some innocent individuals in other homes were discovered and dismissed. Although the policy was finally overturned by the the north of Ireland Department of Health and Social Services, the damage was done and an inevitable chill factor set in.[3]

A "private inquiry" was set up in January 1982 by James Prior, the the north of Ireland Secretary of State,[1] under the Commissioner of Complaints, Stephen McGonagle, to deal with these allegations. However it collapsed after three of its members resigned because they felt that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) had failed to carry out an effective investigation.[1] The then press officer of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Frank Millar, who was married to William McGrath's daughter and was a former head of McGrath's disbanded 'Ireland's Heritage' Orange Lodge, in May 1982 asked the the north of Ireland Office to delay any judicial enquiry into the scandal until after the October Assembly election.[1]

Joshua Cardwell, an east Belfast UUP councillor who formerly chaired the old Belfast Corporation Committee responsible for childrens' homes, committed suicide in 1982 after being questioned by the RUC over Kincora.[1]

Debates on Kincora in the the north of Ireland Assembly were held on 22 March and 9 November 1983. Another inquiry, under Judge William Hughes, was then set up by Prior in January 1984.[4][1]

In December 1985, Judge Hughes reported after his lengthy public inquiry. The view that there was a more extensive 'ring' operating at the home was not accepted.[5]

The story that government files on Kincora were mysteriously absent in the January 2013 release of 1982 papers by the Public Record Office of the north of Ireland (PRONI) apparently resulted from documents being in files that ran past 1982 and that the relevant files will be released later.


^ a b c d e f "Kincora file conspicuously absent from government records", Sam McBride, News Letter 3 January 2013
^ Dillon, Martin (1999). The Dirty War. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-415-92281-X.
^ Social Work, the Media and Public Relations, Bob Franklin and Nigel Parton, Routledge, 1991
^ Margaret Scanlan, Plotting Terror: Novelists and Terrorists in Contemporary Fiction
^ Hughes, W.H. (1986) Report of the Inquiry into Children's Homes and Hostels, Belfast: HMSO

Kincora Files were absent from recent British release of state secrets
The former Kincora Boys Home in East Belfast. Picture: Pacemaker

By Sam McBride
Published on 30/12/2012 17:37

AMONG the hundreds of files from 1982 released at the Public Record Office in Belfast, there is no file on the Kincora scandal.

The serial abuse of boys at the home for orphans had emerged publicly in 1980 and the most notorious abuser, William McGrath, was jailed in December 1981.

The following month, January 1982, Secretary of State Jim Prior set up an inquiry, which was to sit in private, to investigate the Kincora scandal.

That investigation never got off the ground as just a month later three of the five inquiry members resigned because they felt that the RUC had not dealt with all the criminal matters surrounding what had gone on at the home.

However, despite McGrath, who was working for MI5, having had links to loyalist paramilitaries and the fact that there was enormous public interest and speculation about what had gone on, there is no file dedicated to Kincora or to the public inquiry set up by the NIO.

Two years later, in 1984, another inquiry into abuse at nine children's homes ' including Kincora ' was set up by Mr Prior.

Among the other files released by the Public Record Office in Belfast under the 30-year rule, the News Letter found passing references to the situation and its political implications.

However, there are tens of thousands of pages and many millions of words there are likely to be other references to the scandal.

There is mention of Kincora in a note by Sir Leonard Figg, British Ambassador to Dublin, of separate meetings he had with Roman Catholic cardinal Tomas O'Fiaich and Church of Ireland primate Archbishop John Armstrong in February 1982.

Mr Figg wrote: 'Both the cardinal and the archbishop of course loathe Paisley and have their Paisley stories.

'The Cardinal, in fact, has never met his Free Presbyterian brother, but the archbishop has. The latest contact was made by Paisley, hoping that the archbishop would join with him and other churchmen to discuss the Kincora sex scandal with the Secretary of State.

'Archbishop Armstrong told me that he had had a very strong steer from the RUC to have nothing to do with such an approach and had turned down Paisley accordingly.

'This had led to two of Paisley's aides making atrocious and abusive telephone calls to the archbishop personally.'

The month after that note was written, Dr Paisley's church magazine, The Revivalist, carried an article about the refusal of the main church leaders to join him in a delegation to visit the Secretary of State to discuss the affair.

The then DUP leader claimed there had been a 'conspiracy to smear me', though he did not suggest that any of the church figures were involved.

There was a discussion of the Kincora scandal at a meeting between NIO official Stephen Leach and UUP press officer Frank Millar in May 1982.

Mr Leach's note of the meeting records: 'Millar expressed the strong hope (on which I did not comment) that the judicial enquiry would not begin before the Assembly election and that the whole affair would die a natural death. (He has a clear interest in trying to minimise the publicity, since he is married to William McGrath's daughter and is a former head of the now disbanded 'Ireland's heritage' Orange lodge).

'He also alluded to the current gossip that Joshua Cardwell, the highly respected east Belfast councillor who died recently, in fact committed suicide after being questioned by the police over Kincora. (For several years in the 1960s Cardwell chaired the old Belfast Corporation Committee which was responsible for childrens' homes in the city).'

Another file briefly mentions Kincora. David Blatherwick in the NIO's political affairs division sent a confidential memo on January 28, 1982, to the head of the Civil Service, addressed to NIO official DJ Wyatt and others.

Referring to a conversation with David Trimble which largely focuses on the state of the UUP, the note contains a heading 'Kincora' and says: 'Trimble noted glumly that all the dirt to come out was likely to stick to the UUP. All the DUP members involved had since joined the UUP.'

Another reference to Kincora is made in a 'stocktaking' file which contains brief comments on current issues.

Under the heading 'Kincora', a memo from February 8, 1982 said: 'Press speculation about 'cover-ups' had continued during the period following the conviction last December of William McGrath for offences against boys ... (McGrath was prominent in certain Orange and loyalist circles in Belfast).

'Ian Paisley, who originally denied any knowledge of the affair before it became public in early 1980, admitted on January 26 that he had known of McGrath's homosexuality in 1975, but continued to maintain that he was unaware until 1980 that he was warden of Kincora Boys' Home.

'An inquiry into the Kincora affair under the chairmanship of a former the north of Ireland Ombudsman has been announced by the Government.

'On 31 January Lord Brookeborough (ex-UPNI Assembly member and son of the former the north of Ireland premier) called for a full public judicial inquiry [something which Dr Paisley was also calling for] and commented: 'Does Mr Paisley seriously expect the public to believe that he did not know the occupation and the daily place of work of a man who preached from the pulpit of his church?'

There is a file on child abuse, though it makes no reference to Kincora. It does make clear how little was known about child abuse by those within government who were responsible for collating the information.

A WJ Kirkpatrick, seemingly in the Department of Health and responsible for the government's response to child abuse, wrote to a Mr MA Nelson in the Southern Health and Social Services Board in response to a request for statistics on child abuse and neglect in the north of Ireland.

Mr Kirkpatrick said: 'Unfortunately reliable statistics on the incidence of child abuse are about as plentiful as 'growth funds' or good summer days in 1980.

'The attached table would exhaust the stock of information we have.

'It is merely adding together the returns sent to us each year by boards ... personally I would put no great reliance on the accuracy of these figures simply because the interpretation of 'known' and 'suspected' is likely to vary from board to board and possibly inside a board from year to year.'

Mr Kirkpatrick referred to a 1978 survey of 'non-accidental injury registers' and added: 'The only previous N Ireland work I can recall was done by N Lukianowicz in the late '60s and early '70s at a time when we kidded ourselves that baby battering here was non-existent.

'Sorry I am not being helpful but you are considering an aspect where the incidence is far from clear ... despite all the changes in functions child abuse still comes under my list of duties.'

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