The largest ever public inquiry into child abuse held in the UK began its first public hearings in Banbridge, Northern Ireland on 13 January 2014. The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) is examining claims of abuse in children's homes and the juvenile justice system over, a 73-year period.
This enquiry was brought about by the pressure asserted by an organised group of survivors of that abuse who began campaigning for justice in 2009 after the release of the Ryan Report-which covered only institutions in the Republic of Ireland- which clearly left them feeling betrayed by the government of Northern Ireland.
This photographic project was instigated in 2009, in response to a newspaper interview with one of the Northern Ireland victims of ‘Institutional Abuse’, who on experiencing a further sense of personal abandonment and betrayal on the release of the Ryan Report, was compelled to speak out about his intimate experience.
John was placed in institutional care with the Sister’s of Nazareth at the age of one day. He left the care system seventeen years later. This photographic narrative of his childhood and teenage life, was created over a two year period, when we worked together to create a visualisation of the significant places and objects, who’s memory still trigger deep feelings of physical and mental pain. Whilst I created all of the images based on John’s memory, it must be clearly understood that within the publication of this work, the final edit and text belong to John.