SDLP Executive Office Committee chair Sinéad McLaughlin has reconvened a meeting of the committee for a briefing on Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) victims.
Wednesday’s meeting of the Assembly committee had to be halted as only three MLAs remained present.
The reconvened meeting will take place at 11am on Friday morning.
Foyle MLA Ms McLaughlin said:
“After yesterday’s meeting had to be halted due to a lack of quorum, I spent the evening speaking with victims and it was very clear they had been deeply hurt by what happened at committee. These people have been through so much over the years, they have had to fight long and hard, first to get an inquiry into what happened to them and then for adequate compensation. Now, with light at the end of the tunnel, victims were left feeling snubbed by what took place.
“No MLA should ever contribute to the negative experience of victims and it’s deeply regrettable this was the case. After much engagement with victims and the commissioner I thought the best way forward was to reconvene this meeting as quickly as possible to give MLAs the opportunity to right this wrong and to show some of us are willing to do all we can to help victims in their quest for justice.
“This whole sorry episode highlights the need for greater care and sensitivity from our MLAs when carrying out their duties. I know Christmas is nearly upon us and we all have extremely busy constituency offices, but MLAs must remain fully engaged with our full breadth of duties and our committee responsibilities. I hope victims will be encouraged by my attempt to quickly rectify this situation and that lessons will be learnt to ensure we never find ourselves in this position again.”