Abuse inquiry hears care home provided ‘warm and caring environment’

A boys’ home in Northern Ireland being examined for claims of abuse provided a “warm and caring” environment, the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry has heard.

The comments were made by a retired director of the former Western Health and Social Services Trust.

The inquiry is examining claims of abuse at 13 homes and training centres in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 1995.

The witness said he visited Termonbacca Catholic Boys Home in Londonderry as a social worker in the 1970s.

Two months into the inquiry, two homes are still being examined, St Joseph’s, Termonbacca and Nazareth House, both in Derry.

Since the inquiry opened, most of the evidence has been from former residents, with stories of sexual, mental and physical abuse.

The retired health board official, who is giving evidence under an anonymity agreement, said Termonbacca was a very large home with up to 60 children.

Commenting on his observations of the home during visits as a social worker in the 1970s, he said: “I found the atmosphere to be caring and welcoming.”