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Mick Waters and Compensation Lawyers Lavelle Coleman

Abuse payout hopes raised; Irish lawyers to visit city in quest to gather evidence.

Coventry Evening Telegraph, (England) 18 May 1999 by John Pring

A TEAM of Irish lawyers will come to Coventry tomorrow to interview alleged child abuse victims at a children's home in Dublin.

Several Coventry men are among hundreds who have already given statements to the Gardai - the Irish police - alleging sexual and physical abuse by members of the Roman Catholic Christian Brothers order between 1952 and 1968.

Now lawyers from Dublin-based Lavelle Coleman hope to win substantial damages and a public apology for their clients by suing the Christian Brothers in a civil court.

The move comes just days after the Irish government announced it would extend the time period within which victims of sexual abuse can sue for compensation and set up a commission to examine childhood abuse.

Solicitor Jacinta Madden, of Lavelle Coleman, said the announcement would encourage other abuse victims to come forward.

Mick Waters, of Hillfields, Coventry, a former resident of the Artane Industrial School at the centre of the investigation, has helped set up a support group for victims from Coventry and Warwickshire. He said: ''We are telling people not to be afraid and to come forward.''

He appealed for victims from Artane and other Catholic-run schools, such as Daingean Industrial School in Offaly and St Joseph's Industrial School in Tralee, to get in touch.

Mr Waters added: ''We have never given up; we have always carried on trying with the hope that one day we would get a breakthrough, and that is what has happened.''

Mr Waters can be contacted on 07990 784828.


Men tell of abuse at church school.

Coventry Evening Telegraph, (England) 20 May 1999

MORE than 20 Coventry men met Irish lawyers in the city yesterday to recount their childhood experiences of being physically and sexually abused at a Catholic school.

Most of the men were former residents of the Artane Industrial School in Dublin, currently at the centre of a massive police investigation.

Their stories will be included in submissions the lawyers are preparing for a commission on childhood abuse set up this month by the Irish government.

Several of the victims also hope to make statements to the Gardai - the Irish police - which is investigating the allegations of abuse at Artane by members of the Roman Catholic Christian Brothers order more than 30 years ago.

Many of the men came forward after reading about the meeting in Tuesday's Evening Telegraph. The Coventry Howitzer Club in King William Street, Hillfields, provided the venue free of charge.

The team was from Dublin law firm Lavelle Coleman which hopes to obtain compensation for the victims from both the Irish government and the Christian Brothers.

Solicitor Jacinta Madden said: ''It is very upsetting to see the grief and the tears - one guy said 'they robbed me of my life'."

Mick Waters, of Hillfields, who co-ordinates a victims' group, said: ''They have been very understanding and people have responded well to them.''