Demolition work starts at Kincora home in Belfast

There is relief after demolition work got underway at a former notorious boys home in east Belfast.

Construction company Hagan Homes is carrying out the work at the Kincora site in Upper Newtownards Road on Wednesday to make way for homes.

Former resident Gary Hoy was among those who watched on as a digger moved in.

DUP MLA David Brooks described a "very significant and poignant day" for east Belfast - and particularly for former residents of the home.

"People more generally in east Belfast will also be glad to see what is somewhat of a scar on the community gone," he said.

Mr Brooks added: "I can't speak for the victims, I can only imagine the relief that might come from not having to walk past this building - drive past this building on a daily or weekly basis - and be reminded of the horrors that took place here.

"Gavin Robinson called it a memorial to misery and I think that's what it has become, and I think everyone here will be relieved to see it gone."

Hagan Homes bought the site in 2019 and said it was "fully aware of its notorious history and, at every step of the planning process and future activity, it continues to recognise the suffering and wrongdoings that took place here".

The Kincora home, close to Stormont's Parliament Buildings, opened in May 1958.

It closed in October 1980 after a sex abuse scandal.

The historical institutional abuse inquiry found 39 boys were abused at Kincora.

The inquiry found no evidence security agencies were complicit.

In 1981, three men were jailed for abusing 11 boys.

A recent report by Marie Anderson, the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (Poni), said complaints from some former residents about the failure of police to investigate allegations of sexual abuse at Kincora were "legitimate and justified".

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