Nun rejects ‘hard as nails’ claim at Scottish child abuse inquiry

Nazareth House convent. Picture: Robert Perry
Nazareth House convent. Picture: Robert Perry
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A nun has told an inquiry she may have lost her temper with children in her care but rejected suggestions she was “hard as nails”.

The woman, now in her mid-70s, denied being someone that youngsters would have been scared of.

She agreed there was “probably” a strict regime at Nazareth House in Aberdeen but told an inquiry she had not witnessed any abusive practices at the orphanage.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI), sitting in Edinburgh, is continuing its examination of four former children’s homes operated by the Catholic congregation the Sisters of Nazareth in Scotland.

The inquiry has been told of various alleged abuses at the institutions.

The witness said she worked at its homes in Aberdeen and Lasswade, Midlothian, from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s.

Senior counsel to the inquiry Colin MacAulay QC told the nun about evidence from another witness who described her as the children’s “mother” at the Aberdeen home, tasked with controlling them.

“She was hard as nails and we were scared of her but at times she was alright,” the man said in a statement read by the QC.

The inquiry continues.