| 8.7°C Dublin

thorn in the side Survivor of Kincora House abuse welcomes demolition saying he can 'move on'

Jim Miller suffered years of horrific abuse having been sent there as a 14-year-old

Close

Jim Miller at Kincora where he suffered years of sexual abuse

Jim Miller at Kincora where he suffered years of sexual abuse

Jim Miller at Kincora where he suffered years of sexual abuse

A victim of Kincora child abuse has said the demolition of the former boys' home will finally help him put the terrible past behind him.

This week Belfast City Council gave the green light for the demolition of the building on Belfast's Newtownards Road, with East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson saying the property should be knocked down "sooner rather than later". It is to be replaced by nine apartments.

Speaking to the Sunday World, Jim Miller - who suffered years of horrific and terrifying abuse after being placed there as a 14-year-old - said: "I have mixed feelings about demolishing Kincora really, people obviously need to move on.

Close

Jim Miller at Kincora

Jim Miller at Kincora

Jim Miller at Kincora

"I'm sure the building has been a thorn in the side of many people who have to sit at the traffic lights and look at it. It's sad in a way, but somebody's going to make a few pounds out of knocking it down, and it's not going to be the victims."

Mr Miller has previously spoken of his torment at the hands of William 'The Beast of Kincora' McGrath, now deceased, who was sentenced to four years in jail for his role in the abuse scandal.

Mr Miller was sent to the home when he was 14 - younger than most of the other boys there - and while the older kids were sent to work during the day, Jim stayed in the property, where McGrath and his accomplice, Joseph Mains, abused him. Mains himself was sentenced to six years in prison in 1981 for his role in the sexual abuse.

Speaking of what will become of the site once the building is knocked down, Jim said: "The past is the past and you can't undo what happened there, but perhaps if something new is there it might be better."

Jim said he could never forget about the other victims of the abuse. He explained: "I was there in '77 and '78, but you've got to remember that there were people in there long before that. It opened in 1958 and it closed in 1980. I was there near the end.

"I'm 60 years old. A lot of the people that were there before me are going to be 70 and 80 now."

While authorities have faced criticism due to the lack of investigation into Kincora during that time, Jim says he doesn't hold a grudge against the police.

"I don't really blame the police one way or the other. There are people there that knew what was going on and did nothing about it. I mean, what kind of a society are we living in?

"To leave paedophiles in charge of young boys, when it was already common knowledge what these people were doing, was so wrong."

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Close

Jim Miller at Kincora

Jim Miller at Kincora

Jim Miller at Kincora

Speaking previously to the Sunday World, Jim explained how McGrath groomed him while the other boys were at work.

"William McGrath, who was my main abuser, had a captive audience with me because I was 14 and the older boys were sent to work during the day, so I was almost alone in the house with him.

"McGrath was by far the main instigator of the abuse. He'd make you his special child, and say things to make you feel like you were loved and wanted.

"I remember him saying to me and other kids,'your parents don't want you, but we do'. In a way he was right, they did want us.

"When I first arrived everything seemed really good for the first week before the abuse started.

"Others weren't so lucky, I remember one boy who arrived who was raped on the first night."

He added: "It's probably a good thing that the house is going, but these things happened 42 years ago. It's 2022 and I think it's time to move on."

Developer Hagan Homes bought the imposing property for £1.8 million last year, and have said they are "aware of the sensitivities" surrounding the home.

To date, 29 boys have come forward to say they were abused at Kincora.

jamie.mcdowell@sundayworld.com

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.

Privacy