Isle of Man Government 'deeply sorry' for mistakes that contributed to abuse at children's home
The Isle of Man Government has apologised for "historical mistakes" that contributed to children being abused at a home.
A report carried out by Tynwald’s Social Affairs Policy Review Committee (SAPRC), expressed "sincere sorrow and regret" over the abuse at Knottfield Children’s Home in the 1970s and 80s.
Chief Minister Alfred Cannan MHK said: “The Council of Ministers read this report with sincere sorrow and regret and is deeply sorry for the mistakes that were made which contributed to the suffering and the lifelong impact of these traumatic experiences.
“Whilst we cannot undo the past, we are committed to doing everything we can to provide support to those affected by this terrible betrayal of trust.”
The Chief Minister also paid tribute to the bravery of victims in coming forward and giving evidence: “We cannot underestimate the suffering that has been inflicted on the survivors and their families, and greatly appreciate their bravery in giving evidence.
"The report was distressing to read and must have been extremely traumatising to relive."We also pay tribute to those victims who are no longer with us and whose trauma and bravery will not be forgotten.”
The report and its findings were originally published in October 2018 but were withdrawn while a criminal investigation and legal proceedings took place.
Those legal proceeding have now concluded and the report as been released.
Joseph Marshall was jailed for six years in April 2022 following conviction for sexually abusing two boys at the children’s home.
The 2018 report found that vulnerable children suffered horrific abuse of many forms whilst they were residents of Knottfield.
In addition it found that they were failed by authorities.
The SAPRC made 11 recommendations to Government to improve the protection of children in care and the support available for survivors of abuse.
All 11 of the recommendations are supported by the Government, with the Council of Ministers providing a commentary outlining action already taken and future plans.
The SAPRC’s report and the Council of Ministers’ response will go before Tynwald at its February sitting with Members asked to vote to approve the report’s 11 recommendations.