Delays by a religious congregation in submitting evidence to the UK's largest ever public inquiry into institutional child abuse have caused considerable difficulties, a lawyer said.
Material given by the Catholic Sisters of Nazareth order of nuns
was not properly ordered and was still being received up to last week,
despite hearings being planned for many months, Christine Smith QC for the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry said.
treatment of children in church-run residential homes will be a key
concern of the investigation being held in Banbridge, Co Down. It is
chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart.
Ms Smith said: "This
less than whole-hearted and rapid response on the part of the
congregation has caused considerable difficulties to the work of the
"The congregation is not the only body whose approach has
produced problems. We do appreciate that this is not always avoidable
but we hoped that such late delivery could have been avoided, given the
difficulties which it causes for the inquiry."
Children's Home and St Joseph's Home, Termonbacca, were run by the
Sisters of Nazareth in Londonderry.
Those allegedly abused there will
give evidence later this week.
The order has already issued a public apology.