First and Deputy First Minister must act to show they want to right wrongs of the past on Historical Clerical Abuse of children without further delay, says Bradshaw

Alliance Executive Office Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw, has said the First Minister and Deputy First Minister must sign off on the terms of reference for delayed research into historical clerical abuse of children, without delay, if they are to demonstrate they wish to right the wrongs of the past.

Paula Bradshaw

In a Member's Statement to the Assembly, the South Belfast MLA stated: "I want to record the ongoing frustration at the failure to bring forward any meaningful work in relation to historical clerical abuse of children.

"A working group has existed to pick up on areas of historical child abuse which fell outside the Hart Inquiry for seven years. In the area specifically of clerical abuse of children, the Executive Office is well behind its timescale, with the commissioning of work now many years behind.

"There is a recurring theme of the Executive Office and the Department of Health being 'weeks away' from taking action, only for that action never to take place. Meanwhile, victims and survivors of the abuse are left to deal with the pain and lifelong trauma of what happened to them.

"It is long past time we got on with the work. It is already too late for far too many. We now need decisive intervention from the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, without delay, to get research underway and begin to right the wrongs of the past."