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Statement from the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Eddie Lynch, in relation to the Public Apology to Victims and Survivors of Historical Institutional Childhood Abuse:

11 March, 2022
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“I want to publicly recognize the significance of today’s state apology for those courageous victims and survivors of Historical Institutional Childhood Abuse, many of whom are now in their older years.

“These individuals have shown tremendous courage and strength in coming forward to reveal the awful reality of their childhood and today’s apology is long overdue.  I want to commend the Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse for her work in bringing this apology to fruition and I wish her well in her role to continue to support these individuals.”

For more information, advice and support visit:

Victims and Survivors Service

The Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) provides dedicated  support and services to victims and survivors of Historical Institutional Childhood Abuse.  VSS will provide emotional support during the event on the 11th March 2022.  In addition to its usual operating hours of Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, VSS will also be available via telephone, email or webchat as follows:

Saturday 12th March 9am to 5pm

Sunday 13th March 9am to 5pm 

Contact details are as follows:

Wave Trauma Centre

WAVE Trauma Centre will also operate a dedicated support line: 02890 779 922.  This will operate on:

Friday 11th March 2022 9am-8pm

Saturday 12th March 2022 10am to 5pm

Sunday 13th March 2022 10am to 5pm  

Drop in support is available over the weekend at:

WAVE Belfast 5 Chichester Park South.  BT15 5DW 10-4pm on Saturday the 12th March 2022

WAVE Derry Londonderry 25-30 The Diamond,  Derry Londonderry, BT48 6HP from 10-4pm on Sunday 13th March 2022. 

The Office of the Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

The Commissioner's Office can provide advice and information on seeking support, we can make referrals to our partner support organisations and can provide general information on applying for compensation for historical institutional childhood abuse. 

Additional opening to take calls during and after the apology are as follows:

  • Friday 11 March 2022 9am to 9pm
  • Saturday 12 March 2022 9am to 5pm and
  • Sunday 13 March 2022 9am to 5pm.

The Commissioner's Office telephone number is 028 9054 4985 or you can get in touch by email on info@cosica-ni.org and find information on our website: www.cosica-ni.org 

Support available outside of these hours

Samaritans 

If you live in Great Britain or Ireland, please contact Samaritans for help on 116 123. Samaritans are there for people who need someone to listen. Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. Samaritans operates FREE 24/7 every day of the year. 

Lifeline 

Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis response helpline service for people who are experiencing distress.  Lifeline counsellors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to listen and help, in confidence.

People living in Northern Ireland can call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. Deaf and hard of hearing Textphone users can call Lifeline on 18001 0808 808 8000. Calls to Lifeline are free to people living in Northern Ireland who are calling from UK landlines and mobiles.