Head of Government apology significant step for victims, says Bradshaw

Alliance Executive Office spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed the deputy First Minister's apology to victims of historical institutional child abuse.

Paula Bradshaw Connie Egan Institutional Abuse

The Chair of the Executive Office Committee was speaking after Emma Little-Pengelly’s comments during Assembly Question Time.

"The first correspondence I sent in my new role was on behalf of those victims who had made it clear an apology on the record, placed in Hansard, would be significantly more impactful than the previous public apology from party leaders which occurred in the Assembly chamber but in the absence of an Executive and an official record,” said South Belfast MLA Ms Bradshaw.

"While I am aware of the diversity of views among victims and survivors, I am pleased parties have been able to work together to ensure, as of March 4 2024, that apology now appears from a joint Head of Government, appearing in the Assembly Hansard to ensure it is clearly stated and recorded.”

Deputy Chair of the Executive Committee, Alliance North Down MLA Connie Egan, stated: "This on-the-record apology from one of the joint leaders of the Executive is a welcome first step, and it demonstrates how parties can work together on these issues.

“However, it remains only a first step in ensuring the stated desires of victims and survivors of historical institutional child abuse, in all their diversity, are given the prominence and priority it deserves.

"There remains a significant body of work, including around an adequate redress scheme and appropriate memorial, which I and my party colleagues will continue to promote on behalf of victims and survivors."