Alleged victims of sex abuse at a children's home run by the Catholic De La Salle Brothers in Northern Ireland have begun giving evidence at a public inquiry.
This part of the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry is focusing on the former De La Salle Boys Home at Rubane House in Kircubbin in Co Down.
Last week, a lawyer for the inquiry claimed that around one fifth of the 1,000 boys who stayed at Rubane between 1951 and 1985 had suffered sexual or physical abuse.
A 77-year-old man, who was a resident in Rubane as a teenager in the 1950s, told the inquiry he was abused by one of the brothers the day after he arrived at the home.
He claimed he was interfered with while having a shower and while in bed in the dormitory.
The man alleged that some of the abuse was done very craftily under the guise of horseplay.
Mon, Oct 6, 2014
A 77-year-old Co Tyrone man has described as a “hell hole” and “hell on earth” the De La Salle Rubane House boys’ care home in Kircubbin, Co Down, where he spent two years as a teenager in the early 1950s.
The witness, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was one of the first boys to enter the new care home in 1951 and that right from the start he suffered abuse.
“I don’t remember the good times because I had so many bad times,” he told the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down, today.
Although the witness had a happy childhood in Australia, she said feelings of “abandonment and isolation came to the surface” when she got engaged.Witness suffered feelings of ‘abandonment and isolation’
His step-brother, now aged 70, who spent almost two years in the home from August 1958, also told the inquiry that he was locked in a special pen for cattle, which he described as a “cattle crusher”, and then raped by one of the brothers.
The inquiry is investigating alleged child abuse at total of 13 Northern Ireland institutions from 1922 to 1995.
06 OCTOBER 2014
A religious order under scrutiny at a historic abuse inquiry has said some of the allegations were inaccurate.
A lawyer for the De La Salle congregation of brothers said it had apologised and paid compensation where it accepted that wrongdoing took place.
Kevin Rooney QC challenged some of the evidence due to be given to the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.
He said: "There are allegations which lawyers say are inaccurate, unreliable, possibly untruthful."
He said the order sought to protect the reputation, integrity and character of those brothers whom it said did not abuse.
"The apology is also based on the civil claims that have been brought against the order, they have paid deserved compensation to those applicants who they accept have been abused."
BY MICHAEL MCHUGH – 06 OCTOBER 2014
One of the first boys to enter a children's home in Northern Ireland has said he was abused by a religious brother the day after he arrived.
He claimed he was interfered with while having a shower at Rubane House, Co Down, in 1951, under the guise of "horse play".
Once he went missing, he told a public inquiry, was brought home by police, beaten by members of the Catholic order which ran the home and had his hair shaved off in what he claimed was an act of humiliation.
He said: "It was just hell on earth."
The witness's evidence was that the abuse started the day after he arrived at Rubane and left him feeling extremely uncomfortable. He criticised some of the brothers.
"They did come into the dorms. It did not appear that they came in to check if someone wanted to go to the toilet, it was always something of a sexual nature."
A man who claims he was raped using a piece of equipment for restraining farm animals has given evidence to a child abuse inquiry in Northern Ireland.
When he reported the cattle crush assault to a priest he was beaten and locked in a cupboard overnight, the witness told the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.
The victim was a resident at Rubane House, which is the subject of a government-ordered investigation into claims of historic physical and sexual attacks on boys.
It was run by the Catholic De La Salle order of brothers.
Allegations of bestiality and children going missing were also made by witnesses.
One said: "It was just hell on earth."