Children’s home abuse accused also worked in capital

24.11.2021 - 15:38
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 Mynd: RÚV
The capital region municipality of Garðabær is looking to commission an independent investigation into the actions of the couple who ran a children’s home at Hjalteyri, North Iceland, in the 70s and later lived and worked in Garðabær. Abuse at the home, including sexual, has been widely covered in the news this week. The municipality of Hörgársveit, where Hjalteyri is located, has thrown its weight behind calls for a formal inquiry.

Garðabær council released a statement yesterday evening, confirming that the couple in question ran a pre-school in Garðabær and were registered childminders between 1998 and 2015.

As a result of revelations this week, as reported yesterday, the municipality is compiling information on their work as childminders and pre-school operators in Garðabær, and the statement says the case is being taken very seriously and will likely lead to an independent outside agency being called upon to audit the couple’s activities. Children who were put under the care of the couple in Garðabær, as well as their parents, are asked to contact the municipal offices. 

The residential home for vulnerable children in Hjalteyri, near Akureyri, was operated by the couple from 1972 to 1979. Stöð 2 news reported on Sunday that abuse was common at the hands of the couple, and that it was often sexual. The news included descriptions from former residents themselves.  

The home was in Arnarneshreppur, which merged into Hörgársveit in 2010. The municipality released a statement yesterday calling for a formal inquiry into what went on at Hjalteyri. Others have also called for such an inquiry. 

The council in Hörgársveit expresses its alarm at the descriptions of how the home was run. In the statement, the council says an inquiry is necessary and that it must be initiated at the state level, in common with similar inquiries on other homes where children suffered historic abuse. The council will help with the inquiry in any way possible, if it goes ahead. 

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