Nuns deny abuse at children's home

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An order of Catholic nuns yesterday denied allegations that children in its care were physically and emotionally abused over five decades. In a strongly-worded statement, the Poor Sisters of Nazareth broke its silence over the claims that were first made a year ago.

The allegations, made by former residents of children's homes throughout Scotland alleged the abuse was carried out at homes in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Kilmarnock and Lasswade between the 1930s and 1970s.

The former residents - several hundred in total - claimed the abuse verged on "sadism". They plan to lodge compensation claims at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Yesterday the order said an investigation into the claims had failed to reveal the allegations that had been made. A spokesperson said: "The press and media in general appear to be frustrated by the silence of the Sisters. This silence has been seen by some as a veiled admission of guilt regarding the claims of abuse against them. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Nazareth Sisters were dumfounded at the recent allegations since up till then they had never received any complaints whatsoever."