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Thursday, 13 September 2018

Scottish child abuse inquiry names 17 more institutions to be investigated

Written by Hilary Duncanson

Seventeen further institutions are to be investigated by a far-reaching inquiry into historical allegations of the abuse of children in care.

The 17 are in addition to the 69 establishments already identified by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI), taking the total number under scrutiny to 86.

The list includes religious and non-religious institutions, boarding schools and council and healthcare establishments around Scotland.

The newly-announced schools to be looked at are St Andrew's School, in Shandon, Dunbartonshire; Queen Victoria boarding school in Dunblane; Balnacraig School in Perth; Edinburgh's Royal Blind School and Harmeny School; Donaldson's School for Deaf Children; Oakbank School in Aberdeen; Ovenstone Residential School in Fife; and Balrossie School in Inverclyde.

Cardross Park Assessment Centre and Dunclutha Children's Home in Argyll will also be examined, as will Park Lodge in Glasgow.

Lagarie House Children's Home in Rhu, Argyll; Redheugh Adolescent Unit in Kilbirnie, North Ayrshire, and Humbie Care Home in East Lothian are also to be investigated, inquiry chiefs announced.

Lennox Castle Hospital in Lennoxtown, East Dunbartonshire, and the Royal Scottish National Hospital in Larbert in the Falkirk area complete the list.

Inquiry chair Lady Smith said: "Please would anyone who has any relevant information about any of these institutions contact the inquiry.

"It does not matter whether you have already made a report to the police or to anyone else, and it does not matter whether or not you have been involved in any other investigation. You can still talk to us and we want to hear from you."

She continued: "I am well aware that it can be difficult and very emotional to talk about experiences in care and I want to take this opportunity to give an assurance that we have a dedicated witness support team here who will help and support anyone providing evidence to us. They will do so throughout the process."

The inquiry is tasked with examining historical allegations of the abuse of children in care.

It began taking statements from witnesses in the spring of 2016 and commenced public hearings in May last year.

It has already heard evidence on institutions run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul and the Sisters of Nazareth during earlier public hearings.

A third phase of the case study hearings will begin in October with an investigation of residential childcare establishments run by large-scale care providers Quarriers, Aberlour and Barnardo's.

The inquiry team recently announced that residential establishments run by three male religious orders - the Order of Benedictines, the Marist Brothers and the Christian Brothers - will be examined by the SCAI in a fourth phase of public hearings to begin in summer next year.

A later stage of the inquiry will examine the provision of care by the De La Salle Brothers, who ran a number of institutions in Scotland.

It was announced in summer that the inquiry is to be given more time to complete its work.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Nick Mailer / PA Wire.