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Two emails in support of a full public inquiry, from Harry Aitken to David Whelan, 10/01/06.

Hi David,

Thank you so much for posting the BBC Interview with yourself and Colin Adams. There can no longer be any doubt that the issues you raised served to highlight in stark relief, the seriousness and the scale of the prolonged and persistent abuse of children by certain members of Quarriers staff.

With reference to the disparity in numbers of cases (25) brought by former Quarriers children and the number of cases brought against the Catholic Church, this can easily be explained by the fact that Quarriers seem to have been able to keep the lid on the problem and have somehow prevented it from gaining widespread exposure to the general public.

This has ensured that former children of Quarriers have maintained their self-imposed silence throughout their adulthood - just as they did when they were residing in Quarriers. The reasons for this self-imposed silence has been well documented.

Also, in view of the Management of Quarriers persistent denial of these issues, and their failure to maintain or produce records of children reporting abuse while residing in Quarriers, they have sought to minimise the scale of the problem and to restrict it to as few former abused children as possible.

However, I am certain, that as more former boys and girls hear of this frank and explicit interview and the sterling work your group are doing to bring these issues into the consciousness of the Scottish people, so more of them will come forward and rightfully declare that they also were physically, sexually or emotionally abused by Quarriers staff. In many cases, I believe that this will be the first time they have openly divulged such abuse also happened to them.

It is painfully apparent that the Scottish Office and Quarriers must accede to a full public inquiry, and that our children must be given an opportunity to state their case.

It must also be a prerequisite of that inquiry, that the 1964 clause be rescinded, for I am sure there are still former boys and girls alive to day who suffered such abuse before that date. Time does not heal the mental injuries, and the effects of abuse do not fade away because it occurred before 1964.

Please keep me informed of any developments in this regard, and if there is anything I can do in the meantime to assist in this cause, please also let me know.

Kind regards,
Harry Aitken

Message dated 10/01/2006 07:50:54 GMT Standard Time

Hi David,

Of course you may use my email and post it to your web site. We all need to stand together on this issue and to ensure that every individual's human rights are defended.

The true test of a civilised Society is in how they deal with these kinds of matters and in the action a mature Society takes to ensure that justice is served and that any wrong perpetrated on an individual is investigated and put right.

During any process of rectification or healing, it is imperative that all those responsible are held to account and the full scale of their misdeeds exposed. It is also imperative that the Management of Quarriers, who should have been aware of the situation and should have taken preventative measures to protect all vulnerable children in their care, are also called to account.

It is no excuse that things were different in another era and that Child Care expertise and the bank of knowledge was of a lesser standard. Child abuse is the same, no matter what age or generation we live in. We must also disregard the prevarications of Quarriers no matter how the Managers of Quarriers would seek to explain it, or attempt to mitigate its effects.

In so far as some would allege, or warn you that you could bring down Quarriers by exposing the scale of abuse, or the possibility of substantial compensation claims against them, that is a matter which has no bearing on the protection of the inalienable human rights of a child.

It is my belief that William Quarrier, who fought for the rights of the abandoned children in our Scottish Society, would wholeheartedly support that viewpoint and would be horrified that such abuse had taken place in the Village which he created to be a safe haven for the vulnerable children of Scotland.

More courage to you and your group David, and keep up the good work! You are doing a monumental service to those who have never had the opportunity to have their voice heard.

If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

Kind regards,

Message dated 10/01/2006 21:59:18 GMT Standard Time

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