Migrant gives evidence at abuse inquiry

Migrant gives evidence at abuse inquiry

A man who was abused as a child at a Catholic home in Londonderry has told the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry he had no idea where he was going when he was sent to Australia.

Des McDaid, 70, who has waived his right to anonymity, spoke to the inquiry by video-link from Australia.He said he was raped by an older boy during his time at Termonbacca boys' home in Derry.Mr McDaid, who is originally from Co Donegal, said he was bathed in Jeyes cleaning fluid and thrown into the air at the institution which was run by the Sisters of Nazareth religious order.He arrived in Fremantle in 1953 as part of the child migration scheme.When he was moved aged eight to the Clontarf institution near Perth in western Australia, he said the abuse continued and he was targeted by older boys, a lay teacher and members of the Christian Brothers."I had a lot more of it over here, from the Christian Brothers etc," he said.Mr McDaid thought he had no parents until the age of 48, when he was reunited with his mother, who said she did not give her consent for him to be moved.His mother, who now lives in Kent, told him: "Forgive me, forgive me, forgive me."Des Mc Daid, who's waived his right to anonymity says he was brutally thrown in the air by staff when 2. They watched as he fell, over&over— Jane Loughrey (@Jane_utv) September 2, 2014The inquiry resumed hearings on Monday, focusing on the child migration programme.Over the next three weeks evidence will be heard from 50 people who are now living in Australia.A number of witnesses are scheduled to give their evidence in person but most will give evidence by video-link.Documentation examined by the Inquiry has revealed that approximately 140 young children from Northern Ireland who were in the care of voluntary institutions, or state bodies, were sent to Australia as child migrants between 1922 and 1995.The Sisters of Nazareth order of Catholic nuns was responsible for the removal of 111 child migrants aged as young as five, some of whom faced sexual and physical violence after arrival.The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry was formally established in January 2013 by the Northern Ireland Executive. It has a remit to investigate child abuse which occurred in residential institutions in Northern Ireland over a 73-year period up to 1995.A total of 13 institutions in Northern Ireland are currently under investigation by the Inquiry in relation to allegations of historical institutional abuse and/or neglect.In total, the inquiry is expected to hear from more than 300 witnesses during the course of the public evidence sessions.


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