09/07/2019

Tributes As Abuse Inquiry Chair Dies

Tributes have been paid following the sudden death of Sir Anthony Hart, the chairman of the Historical Abuse Inquiry.

The former high court judge was 73 when he passed away in London this morning, Tuesday 09 July.

His inquiry uncovered widespread abuse and mistreatment in children's homes in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995 and was followed up with recommendations for a compensation scheme.

Head of the Civil Service David Sterling expressed his sadness at Sir Anthony's passing. He said: "A hugely respected figure in NI and a man of great integrity with an unflinching pursuit of the truth. Qualities he demonstrated as Chair of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry. Heartfelt sympathies to Sir Anthony's family."

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood honoured the retired judge for his lifetime of service to the people and communities of Northern Ireland.
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The Foyle MLA commented: "He provided victims and survivors with the opportunity to talk about the most grievous wrongs that had been committed against them during traumatic and painful parts of their lives. I know that many are grateful for the very positive role he has played in making their struggle a political priority.

"It is more important than ever that we take forward his recommendations and build on the work of the inquiry report to meet the needs of victims and survivors.

"My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family at this very difficult time."

Meanwhile, Ulster Unionist Leader Robin Swann expressed his sadness at the passing. Paying tribute to Sir Anthony, the north Antrim MLA said: "Under his leadership, the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry was critical in providing recognition to the suffering of victims and survivors who had waited for their story to be heard for most of their lives.

"His commitment to helping victims of historical institutional abuse and the light he shone on what took place is something we owe him a great deal of gratitude for. I pass on my condolences to his family at this deeply difficult and sad time."



(JG/CM)

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