The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry

Welcome to the website of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995.  The Inquiry is independent from government and has two main components.  One is the Acknowledgement Forum, whose members listened to the experiences of those who were children in residential institutions (other than schools) in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995.  The Acknowledgement Forum completed their interviews in November 2014.

The other component is the Statutory Inquiry. Between 13 January 2014 and 8 July 2016 the Statutory Inquiry investigated 22 institutions, as well as the circumstances surrounding the sending of child migrants from Northern Ireland to Australia, and the activities of Fr Brendan Smyth, and issues of finance and governance. These investigations were divided into 15 separate Modules and occupied 223 days of hearings. We have now completed the public hearings and the next stage of our work is to complete our Report.

As I announced on the final day of the public hearings on 8 July there are a number of steps which we are required to take before the Report can be completed. The Inquiry is now working on its Report which we have to deliver to the First Minister and deputy First Minister no later than 18 January 2017. We are obliged to deliver the Report to the First Minster and deputy First Minister at least 14 days before the Report can be published. The Inquiry will then publish the Report in both hard copy form and on the Internet. When the Report has been delivered we will announce details of the arrangements for publication of the Report.

From the start of our work the Inquiry has been committed to making as much of our work as possible publicly available. The transcripts of the evidence given in those hearings, apart from a small number of closed hearings held to avoid prejudicing criminal prosecutions, can be found on our website. In due course we will place on our website all those documents we consider are relevant and which do not contain private information, such as medical or social services records, which might cause distress to applicants or others such as family members and others who were not applicants to the Inquiry, or information which need not be published. Because of the number of documents involved preparing them for our website, and removing from them material which we consider should not be published, is a laborious process which is ongoing and it will be some time before we can place all the documents on our website.  The transcripts of the public hearings and the documents already placed on our website can be accessed by following the links on this page. These links also provide access to other information relating to our work.

Sir Anthony Hart