Alliance’s Chris Lyttle said the “clamour for justice” over the allegations of abuse at Kincora Boys Home, Belfast was now “unavoidable”, on 30 September 2014.
MLAs unanimously backed a motion calling on Home Secretary Theresa May to include the Kincora investigation in a wider inquiry into historical abuse.
Mr Lyttle said the investigation must include an exemption from the Official Secrets Act to enable intelligence services witnesses to give evidence.
He said the Assembly was sending “a clear united message” to secure “the level of investigation the victims deserve and any democratic society must demand”.
The SDLP’s Alban Maginness said “the more you probe into this sorry episode, the more you come to the conclusion there has been a major cover-up”.
He said the abuse had been part of a “web of intrigue” and “we shouldn’t simply allow these intelligence services to govern themselves”.
His party colleague Colum Eastwood said, “we in this country have had very difficult experiences with what state agencies were able to do and cover up. We need to ensure a very bright light is shone on the darkest corners of the state”.
Ulster Unionist Roy Beggs supporting the motion said that despite investigations, “allegations persist that justice has not been done”.
Edwin Poots said the outcome of a previous investigation, by Sir George Terry, could only have been the result of “cover-up, whitewash and sham”.
The DUP MLA said, “I have absolutely no doubt that there were powerful people involved in what was going on in Kincora and that’s why we didn’t get the truth in the 1980s. That’s why it’s important we get the truth now”.
Steven Agnew of the Green Party said, “the other way that we get justice for any victim of sexual abuse is we make sure we do all we can to ensure it doesn’t happen again”.
“The old phrase was ‘children should be seen and not heard’ – we need to put that old attitude to bed,” he said, “this case brings to light the importance of transparency, there should never be absolute trust in institutions, there must be accountability”.
You can see the first part of the debate here.
Parliamentary reports show first speaker only - follow this lnk for the full transcription.
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