Catholic religious order apologises for abuse of boys

A religious order of Catholic brothers has apologised for the abuse of boys in its care in Northern Ireland as the second day of an inquiry takes place in Banbridge.

De La Salle ran a home in Kircubbin in Co Down which is due to be examined by a public inquiry into historical wrongdoing.

Kevin Rooney QC, on behalf of the order, said: “They accept and deeply regret that boys in their care were abused. They wish to offer their sincere and unreserved apology to all those whom they failed to protect.”

Retired judge Sir Anthony Hart is chairing the UK’s largest ever investigation into child abuse in residential homes over seven decades.

Decades of physical, sexual and emotional suffering were inflicted upon the most vulnerable by the church, state and voluntary organisations, it has been alleged.

Mr Rooney added: “That some brothers abused boys in care was in contradiction to their vocation as De La Salle Brothers.”

More than 300 alleged victims are set to give evidence to the investigation, which is expected to last 18 months.