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Bradshaw: Review into redress process must be urgently undertaken

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has said an “insensitivity” to the emotional reality of what the victims of historical abuse experienced remains to this day, as she spoke in favour of a review into the redress process being urgently undertaken.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking during a debate in the Assembly which urged the First and deputy First to take action, as she added the redress aspect of the implementation of the Hart Inquiry has become too “adversarial”.

“I have spent many years working with victims of institutional abuse and therefore I share others’ concern that the process as currently constituted is proving somewhat less than optimal,” she said.

“There is a very strong sense, which is justified when you hear of some of the bureaucratic elements which surround this, that victims are being asked to do or provide things which are simply not reasonable – with some of the experiences I’ve heard simply heart-breaking.

“Victims have faced barrier after barrier just to get this far, and there is a very real sense that more barriers are simply being put up by the process. While any such scheme must of course be robust, the fact is that victims are understandably tired, frustrated and angry at the hoops they are having to jump through must be recognised.

“I would urge not only action from the Executive Office on a short, sharp review, but also immediate action on the delivery of an apology and a memorial which would acknowledge and recognise the suffering of victims, and which would provide welcome re-assurance that implementation of the “Hart Inquiry” recommendations is being carried out with the interests of the victims prioritised and respected.”