Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry to focus on notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth

The convicted priest Brendan Smyth is to be subjected to a specific section as part of a massive inquiry into institutional sex abuse. The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry also announced on Monday that three new institutions - Hydebank Wood Young Offenders’ Centre in Belfast and Fort James Children’s Home in Ardmore Road and Harberton House ssessment entre in Irish Street both in Derry - are also to be looked into. HI Chairman Sir Anthony Hart said the extra parts to the large-scale probe will bring “the total of homes and matters to be investigated to 18”. He said Module 6 “will examine issues arising from the actions of Fr Brendan Smyth in a number of homes in Northern Ireland, actions which have been described by a number of witnesses who have already given evidence to the Inquiry”. Smyth died of a heart attack in prison in August 1997, just a month into a 12 year prison sentence for a raft of offences against children. The inquiry heard details today of when various institutions are expected to feature. Module 5, will start on June 8 and focus on Fort James Children’s Home and Harberton House ssessment entre. Both were under the remit of the former Western Health and Social Services Board and have since closed. Module 7 will focus on four juvenile justice institutions - St Patrick’s Training School, Belfast; Lisnevin Training School, County Down; Rathgael raining School, Bangor; and Hydebank Wood Young Offenders’ Centre, Belfast. This module will start on September 1 and is expected to last until November. The Inquiry’s eighth module will focus on two former children’s homes run by the children’s charity, Barnardo’s; the Sharonmore Project and Macedon, both in Newtownabbey. This module will be heard in December and finish the Inquiry’s business for 2015. The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry was established in January 2013 by the Stormont Executive with a remit to investigate child abuse in residential institutions in Northern Ireland over a 73-year period up to 1995. he inquiry is expected to hear from more than 300 witnesses during the course of the public evidence sessions. If you or a loved one have been subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.


Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

Her extensive knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules, skills in evidence gathering and analysis of liability and causation, and experience in risk assessment and settlement negotiation make her a valuable asset to clients and colleagues alike.

She is also a member of Verisona Law’s Historic Abuse Team and undertakes documentary analysis, work relating to case evidence and the development of legal arguments to secure successful settlements. She is fluent in German and Persian.

Lisa also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law.

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"I would like to express my profound heartfelt gratitude to Lisa Gafarov for all her hard work and understanding when representing me. She fought passionately for my case for two years.

Within this time, never once did I feel it was about the money for her. She was very considerate and dealt with many personal matters in a caring and professional way. It was a very sensitive case but she put in a lot of hard work and went the extra mile each time. Her wide range of expertise was indispensable during this difficult time. Because of this I trusted all her advice and as a result, this took a lot of pressure off of me.

She managed to reach a very amicable conclusion between the defendants and myself. You don’t know how much your passion impacts the lives of others. For this I am forever grateful. I would recommend your firm a hundred times over."
Anonymous, April 2019

Lisa studied ‘Contract Law, European Law and Employment Law’ as part of her degree in BA (Hons) Business Administration. She has also studied other business subjects, including accounting.

Having completed her degree, Lisa started work for Verisona Law in November 1999 in the Personal Injury department as a Trainee Litigation Clerk and since then has developed extensive skills in relation to personal injury litigation and case preparation.

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Slip and trip claims
  • Occupier’s liability claims
  • Product Liability claims
  • Industrial disease claims
  • Work related upper limb disorder claims
  • Clinical negligence, including amputation claims
  • Cosmetic surgery claims
  • Abuse claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."

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