New revelations of large-scale child abuse

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Two Fermanagh women have said they were abused by members of the anti-Catholic Orange Order when they were children and that the Order has covered it up. They say their abusers are “powerful men” and that the Orange Order has “protected them”.

According to an investigation by the Fermanagh-based Impartial Reporter, the father of one victim says he resigned from the Orange Order and alerted members to the allegations “but nothing was done”.

Another victim has also alleged that she was raped by a member of the Orange Order as a child after singing in church. A Methodist minister told her his church could not alert authorities of the abuse for fear it would “impact on their work in the community”.

More than 50 victims have accused 60 named abusers. The victims say some of the abuse, which dates back several decades, took place in and around Orange halls during band practice and after parades.

A spokesperson for the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland declined to comment except to say that it would “fully co-operate” with any police investigation.

MOUNTBATTEN ‘WAS ABUSER’

In a related story, a new book on Lord Louis Mountbatten, an uncle of the English queen Elizabeth’s husband Philip, alleges he was involved in the abuse of teenage boys from Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast in the 1970s.

Kincora is known to have been used for child abuse by powerful members of the Six County establishment of the time, including leading unionists and British figures. Allegations of state collusion have continued following an attempted cover-up in 1980, and only three employees of the home have been charged with any offence.

A new book, ‘The Mountbattens’, includes interviews with two men who describe being brought from Kincora in summer 1977 to where the ‘Earl of Burma’ was on holiday in County Sligo across the border. The men, who were both 16 at the time, revealed they were abused by Mountbatten after being brought to where he was staying at Mullaghmore harbour.

The abuse stopped when the Earl was killed by the Provisional IRA in an attack on his fishing boat at Mullaghmore, forty years ago this week.

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