Testimony that English royal Louis Mountbatten sexually abused former residents of a Belfast boys home with links to the Orange Order is due to be aired in court, thanks to the bravery of a former resident.
Arthur Smyth (pictured, right), a one time resident of Kincora who now lives in Australia, has waived his right to anonymity to make the allegations against the late uncle of King Charles III and Prince Andrew.
Mountbatten was a colonial administrator in India and oversaw the British partition of that country in 1947. On his retirement, he frequented the west of Ireland, where he is alleged to have sexually abused a number of boys from Kincora until he was executed by the IRA in 1979.
The allegations form part of a civil action against various organisations responsible for the care of children in Kincora, where a paedophile ring involving prominent members of the British establishment is alleged to have operated.
Mr Smyth has revealed he was trafficked to County Sligo and abused twice as an 11-year-old by the deceased royal. It’s the first time that someone has stepped forward to take such allegations against Mountbatten into a court.
Mr Smyth, the third youngest in a family of nine, fits a pattern of others sent to the home — with the abuse starting just days in. His main tormentor was prominent Orangeman and ‘housemaster’ William McGrath who later became known as “the beast of Kincora”.
The Police Ombudsman found the RUC, as it was known back then, did not act on information passed on, failing the many young victims.
Pre-action letters alleging negligence and breach of duty of care were issued last month to the Business Services Organisation, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, the British Direct Ruler, the PSNI chief and the Department of Health.
Lawyer Kevin Winters said his client’s decision to go public “hasn’t been taken lightly”.
“He understands only too well that it will be a deeply unpopular case with many people coming as it does within weeks of the passing of the queen,” he said.
Mr Winters said litigation involving mental, physical and sex abuse “isn’t undertaken to deliberately offend sensitivities”.
“It’s taken for many reasons including exposing perpetrators and the institutions or other agencies which helped suppress the truth,” he said.
Mr Smyth told the Sunday Life he had been abused by Mountbatten in 1977 but only realised who he was two years later from news reports after his death.
The PSNI last month apologised to the victims of abuse at the boys home after a report by the Police Ombudsman found “major deficiencies” and “systemic failings” in how the then RUC mishandled reports of abuse at the home, but stopped short of confirming the force colluded in the abuse.
Mr Smyth says his abuse by Mountbatten was orchestrated by McGrath.
“McGrath would say you are going to meet a special friend and I went: ‘Oh really’. And that’s when he took me into that room — downstairs there was a big office, with a big desk and there was a shower,’’ he said.
“His name was never mentioned in the room. He made me have a shower and then McGrath would come down and get me afterwards.”
Mr Smyth says it was only after he saw news footage of Mountbatten that he realised who this “upmarket” man was.
The Mountbattens, a 2020 biography by Andrew Lownie, includes interviews with two unnamed Kincora residents who also say they were abused by the royal.
The interviewees described being brought from Kincora to Sligo, where Mountbatten had a holiday home. Both men, then aged 16, say they were abused multiple times during the summer of 1977.
At the time, Mountbatten’s home was protected by the Gardai and there was a police checkpoint at the gate. The Gardai have so far refused to release the logs and files they possess relating to the vehicles which visited the paedophile’s property in 1977.