Probe into abuse by nuns

In­quiry: In­ves­ti­ga­tion into treat­ment of chil­dren at city’ s Nazareth House

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY CALUM ROSS

A na­tional child abuse in­ves­ti­ga­tion will turn its fo­cus on events at a for­mer Aberdeen chil­dren’s home from next week.

For­mer res­i­dents and other wit­nesses con­nected to Nazareth House, on the city’s Clare­mont Street, are ex­pected to give ev­i­dence to the Scot­tish Child Abuse In­quiry.

The fa­cil­ity was founded by six women from the Sis­ters of Nazareth in London in 1862 and it was once home to more than 300 chil­dren.

But the home was dogged by al­le­ga­tions of his­tor­i­cal abuse by the nuns for over two decades, with more than 40 com­plaints be­ing made by for­mer res­i­dents dur­ing a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion in 1997.

One wo­man claimed she had been beaten so hard she lost her hear­ing, while a re­tired fish­er­man said he had been sub­merged in near boil­ing wa­ter by the sis­ters.

Speak­ing in 2000, a for­mer res­i­dent said: “You couldn’t an­swer them back and you were ter­ri­fied to sleep at night in case you wet the bed. At din­ner time you had to stand with your sheets on your head while the oth­ers played.”

By 2010, coun­cil­lors ap­proved plans to turn the house into flats.

The Scot­tish Child Abuse In­quiry was launched in Oc­to­ber 2015 and is one of the most wide-rang­ing pub­lic in­quiries ever held in Scot­land.

Hav­ing com­pleted hear­ings con­sid­er­ing res­i­den­tial child care es­tab­lish­ments run by the Daugh­ters of Char­ity of St Vin­cent de Paul in late Jan­uary, the in­quiry will now look at es­tab­lish­ments run by the Sis­ters of Nazareth in Aberdeen, Car­don­ald, Kil­marnock and Lass­wade.

SPEAK­ING OUT: One for­mer res­i­dent of Nazareth House claimed she was beaten so hard she lost her hear­ing

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