By Dónal Lavery.
I have been working on a book-in-progress about the issue of the Kincora Boys Home scandal involving undisclosed sexual abuse and exploitation. Part of that exploitation included victims being sent to live in the US at the behest of powerful abusers with salient influence. A Northern Protestant, Richard Kerr, was taken into the social services system at the age of 8 years old and shortly thereafter began to suffer mass sexual abuse in various state institutions while also being sent to hotels and other venues to be raped by prominent men. Amongst the paedophiles in the ring in which he became entangled was Lord James Molyneaux, Enoch Powell MP, Doctor Morris Fraser, Lord Mountbatten and the infamous lawyer to Donald Trump, Roy Cohn.
These were people with real sway and clout in society, here and abroad. They were protected by the state via the Intelligence Services and their exposure was legally barred on grounds of “national security” in various instances. Essentially, they were practically “untouchable”, and could literally get away with all sorts of serious crimes without bearing the consequences that would befall the average citizen.
Now that some are dead and others are withering away in the shadows, victims and survivors feel able to speak out.
Scores of millions of Americans identify as Irish by extraction due to what the British did to our island – forcing many Catholics and Protestants to leave to make a life for themselves in the USA. When I get off the plane and meet people from various Irish American groups, they are always warm, interested and so accommodating. There is a deep and lasting affection in them for their indigenous European ancestors and homeland as it forms a core part of their identity as the “exiled children” of an ancient nation. Nobody can forget who they are and where they come from.
Having reflecting on that, I made a phone-call out of the blue to Father Sean McManus, the President of the Irish National Caucus, in Washington, to discuss the Richard Kerr case. He was already familiar with it from reports in Village magazine and listened very attentively. I provided him with more detail and various records and documents. Then, in true ecumenical manner, he pledged his fullest support for acquiring justice for Richard.
This developed into regular communication with both Father Sean and Barbara Flaherty (the Vice President of the Irish National Caucus in Washington), both of whom have worked on many cases of human rights violations concerning the conflict in the North of Ireland. In fact, when no Unionist politician would come to his assistance, Father Sean and Barbara took up the case of Raymond McCord (a Belfast Protestant) and the collusion by the British state in his son’s tragic death. This included inviting McCord to the US and gaining him access to many seminal players in the greatest power-sphere known to man; raising vital awareness of the injustice he has suffered and putting pressure on the British government.
The problem of course is that justice is not a single destination but a process. It does not possess a straightforward path, and takes many twists or turns along the way. Successive British government inquiries and police investigations have failed to adequately probe the actions of personnel within MI5 who collaborated in this abomination at Kincora towards children. Minors were sacrificed on an “altar” of expediency over those “wolves” with disgusting ‘appetites’, enhancing the trauma further.
Successive British government inquiries and police investigations have failed to adequately probe the actions of personnel within MI5 who collaborated in this abomination at Kincora towards children. Minors were sacrificed on an “altar” of expediency over those “wolves” with disgusting ‘appetites’, enhancing the trauma further.
I hope that with the support of those with a direct link to Congress and human rights groups internationally, Richard will be able to bring world attention to one of the most horrendous crimes ever perpetrated against young boys. Undoubtedly, this campaign will come up against obstacles, whether it be the British Embassy, Intelligence Services or Unionist political intrigues.
While I am no fortune teller, one thing is for sure – the Richard Kerr case will not be going away.
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