Published Thursday, 22 August 2013
Victims and survivors of historical abuse are being asked to come forward. (© Simon Graham/Harrison Photography.)
A total of 355 people have made a formal application to speak to the inquiry which was set up earlier this year by the Stormont Executive to investigate allegations of abuse in local care homes between 1922 and 1995.
Most of the applicants reside in Northern Ireland, with 224 applying from the region.
However, 57 people living in Australia also applied.
Documentation examined by the Inquiry team revealed that, between 1947 and 1956, 110 children were sent from care homes in Northern Ireland to institutions in Australia.
Many of the children were sent to the western part of the country. The move was part of a UK government policy of child migration.
There were also 47 applications received by the inquiry team from people in Great Britain, 17 from the Republic of Ireland and five from other countries.
The Inquiry's Acknowledgement Forum has now met with 173 applicants, while its legal team has interviewed 60 potential witnesses to help prepare witness statements.
The Inquiry team will hold its third public hearing on Wednesday, 4 September at the Ramada Encore, St Anne's Square in Belfast.
At the hearing, the Inquiry's Chairman, Sir Anthony Hart, will provide an update on their work so far.
He will also speak about proposed timelines, and will deal with associated procedural issues of interest to institutions and applicants.
Survivors of childhood abuse in Northern Ireland institutions - and any other potential witnesses - cant contact the team at www.hiainquiry.org or 0800 068 4935.
© UTV News