SDLP Deputy Leader Nichola Mallon MLA and Executive Office Committee Chair Sinead McLaughlin MLA met with victims of Historical Institutional Abuse at Stormont today.
SDLP Minister Nichola Mallon said that victims and survivors of institutional abuse deserve a formal public apology from the heads of government after years of campaigning for recognition and redress.
Sinead McLaughlin MLA said that the First Minister’s decision to resign displayed a callous disregard for the needs of people who suffered so much for so long.
Nichola Mallon MLA said:
“Victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse have been campaigning for decades for recognition and redress. Throughout their long fight for justice, they demonstrated immense dignity, courage and resilience.
“Political leaders have failed to meet the needs of these victims for far too long. This is an issue which has been pushed from pillar to post for well over 20 years. And now, when people thought they were finally going to get a formal apology from our heads of government, the First Minister pulls out leaving them in the lurch once again.
“Political self-interest has been put ahead of people who need this to help heal the wounds of their past. It’s politically and morally wrong. I have expressed my sincere regret today and I have committed to doing everything I can to support these victims.”
Sinead McLaughlin MLA said:
“There is a deep sense of hurt, anger and betrayal among victims and survivors at the prospect of the official state apology they have spent years fighting for being cancelled for the sake of political games. These people have been through so much over the years, they have had numerous false dawns and the idea that this too will be taken from them makes me feel sick to my stomach.
“It is far beyond time that their needs were put first.”