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Child abuse inquiry to publish orphanage findings

Findings relate to Smyllum Park in Lanark and Bellevue House in Rutherglen.

Smyllum Park: One of the case studies.
Smyllum Park: One of the case studies.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry will publish its findings from the case study examining residential institutions run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul (DoC) on Thursday.

Evidence was heard over 20 days from 54 witnesses about their experiences of Smyllum Park in Lanark and Bellevue House in Rutherglen.

A further 21 written statements of evidence were read in during the public hearings.

Lady Smith said of the forthcoming publication: "I am very grateful to all the witnesses; they engaged helpfully and openly with the Inquiry.

"I appreciate how challenging it will have been for them - applicants, Sisters, members of staff and other witnesses alike and I thank them for the dignity with which they gave their evidence.

"In the document, I set out the findings that I have been able to make on the evidence presented during the case study.

"I am doing so to make applicants, witnesses and members of the public aware, as soon as possible, of whether I am satisfied that children were abused while in the care of the Order and if so, of the nature and extent of that abuse."

The hearings of the DoC evidence began on November 28, 2017 and the focus was on the allegations of abuse made by a wide range of applicant witnesses.

Evidence was also heard from 12 Sisters who worked at Smyllum and Bellevue, covering the period 1957 to its closure in 1981, and from the Provincial and Safeguarding representative of the Order.

The second case study, which investigated residential child care establishments run by the Sisters of Nazareth, concluded its public hearings in July.

On October 23, the inquiry will move on to its third case study, examining the provision of residential care by three non-religious voluntary organisations: Quarriers Homes, The Aberlour Childcare Trust and Barnardo's.

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