Published Wednesday, 12 February 2014
The inquiry in Banbridge is looking at allegations of abuse in institutions. (© Simon Graham/Harrison Photography.)
Proceedings had to be halted on Wednesday morning as Kate Walmsley broke down in the witness box while speaking about her time at Nazarath House in Londonderry.
Kate, who is now 57, told the hearing that she was regularly sexually assaulted when she was resident there in the 1960s by a priest and by older female residents.
She said the experience had "destroyed" her - but that she wanted to become the first victim to waive her right to anonymity to help other victims who haven't yet come forward.
I had a dreadful experience from when I was eight until I was 12, I was mentally tortured, physically and emotionally.
The inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down, heard how Kate was described in welfare documents as a troublesome child and that she was badly behaved. She said this was because of how she was treated, adding that she had been beaten by nuns and force-fed her own vomit.
The Sisters of Nazareth order has already given an unreserved apology at the start of the inquiry which was set up to examine allegations of historical abuse in institutions.
Kate said she no longer understands what the word 'sorry' means.
Speaking to UTV before Wednesday's hearing, Ms Walmsley said she came to the inquiry because she wants to make sure no boy or girl is ever abused at an institution in the future.
"That's the only thing that has been keeping me going, that this world is going to change and that priests and bishops and cardinals are not going to rule the people and that the people are going to have a voice for once in their lives," she said.
"I had a horrible childhood at Nazareth House. I was abused by two priests and I just don't want that to happen to another girl or boy, and it's the only reason that I came forward to this inquiry."
© UTV News