A former British Army intelligence officer has said he was ordered to stop investigating allegations of child sexual abuse at a boys’ home in the Six Counties.
Speaking earlier this month, Brian Gemmell said a senior MI5 officer told him to stop looking into claims of abuse at Kincora Boys’ Home in east Belfast.
He said he presented a report on the allegations to the officer in 1975. In 1981, three senior care staff at the home were jailed for abusing 11 boys.
It has believed that well-known unionists and other prominent members of the establishment were connected to abuse at the home.
Mr Gemmell, who worked as an intelligence officer in the Six Countues in the 1970s, has called for a fresh investigation into the home. He has previously spoken anonymously about his investigations into Kincora, but said he had decided to go public because he feels the allegations need to be investigated again.
The former intelligence officer said that he learned details of what was happening inside the home while gathering information about loyalists. He said he was told he was running two agents who had close links to Kincora. However, after presenting his report to a senior MI5 officer, Mr Gemmell said, he was told to cease his investigation.
He said: “I was summoned to go and see him. I went up thinking he was going to be pleased with me.
“He bawled me out. He was rude and offensive and hostile. He told me not just to stop any investigation into Kincora, but to drop Royal Flush [an agent he was running].”
Mr Gemmell said Kincora should be investigated again but said “there is not a lot of hope” that it will happen.
“I think there’s more hope than there has been in the past. Although there’s not a lot, there is more than in the past.”
In July, another former British Army officer, Colin Wallace, said any new investigation of Kincora must have access to information from intelligence agencies.
Wallace has been trying for 40 years to expose child sex abuse at the east Belfast home and was even framed for manslaughter in an apparent attempt to silence him.
Wallace said he received intelligence in 1973 to say that boys were being abused, but that some of his superiors refused to pass on the information.
While he worked in the British Army’s ‘Information Policy Unit’ in the Six Counties, he came to learn that well-connected paedophiles were using the home, including Knox Cunningham, who was parliamentary private secretary to former PM Harold Macmillan.
Since leaving the British army, he said he had been told that boys from Kincora were also being taken to Brighton, England to be abused.
“The terms of the inquiry would need to be watertight if people are to have the confidence to co-operate with it fully,” he said.
British home secretary Theresa May has so far refused widespread calls to include Kincora in the British child abuse inquiry which was established following revelations about serial sex offenders like television celebrity Jimmy Savile.
Retired judge Anthony Hart, who is leading the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA), has said the inquiry “does not have sufficient powers” in its present form to investigate issues relating to the British Army or MI5.