Media Statement from Tom Kark QC, Chair of the Muckamore Abbey Hospital Inquiry

Today marks the official commencement of the Muckamore Abbey Hospital Inquiry, a significant date for all those patients and families who have been affected by the issues under examination by the Inquiry, many of whom have campaigned very hard to ensure this inquiry takes place. I want to reassure you that a thorough and impartial investigation will be carried out by the Muckamore Abbey Hospital Inquiry.

Over the coming weeks the Inquiry team and I will be continuing the work, which has already started, including finalising our premises in Central Belfast, and preparing for the public hearings which we hope to start in the Spring of next year.

We will now be holding a number of engagement events to explain the work of the Inquiry and to encourage people to come forward and make contact with us. These events have been arranged for locations such as Antrim, Newry, Coleraine, Belfast, Derry/Londonderry with a virtual session also planned, between 13th to 20th October and are bookable here.

It is important that all those who have information, of whatever nature, come forward as early as possible and engage with the Inquiry. I recognise that this may be an extremely distressing time for some and can assure individuals that all engagement with the Inquiry will be strictly confidential and you will be treated with sensitivity.

Our website is now live and can be found at - here you will find details on how to engage with us which will also be publicised at our engagement events. In the meantime, if you have any questions, a member of the Inquiry team can be contacted on 02890 515462.