Survivors who say they endured horrific sexual abuse at an Angus residential school protested in Glasgow on Wednesday, blaming the council for losing vital records.
Police are currently investigating claims of physical and sexual abuse in the 60s and 70s, made by former pupils of rural Fornethy house in Kilry.
The school was run by Glasgow Corporation which was later renamed Glasgow City Council in 1996.
Around 130 women have accused the council of allegedly missing vital records needed in order to find justice.
On Wednesday the group, known as the ‘Fornethy House Residential School Survivors’, protested in front of Glasgow City Chambers, calling for answers.
Marion Reid was the first to tell her story. She visited Fornethy for six weeks in 1964.
The 64-year-old claims she was frequently assaulted by employees, almost from the moment she arrived, at the age of seven.
She said the abuse she suffered has caused her lifelong trauma and contributed to several suicide attempts, starting at just 14.
Marion says that around 170 women have now come forward with claims they were attacked at Fornethy.
In December, victims of Fornethy house made a plea to an uninvolved mystery owner for access to the building so they could piece together missing pieces of the puzzle of their abuse.
‘Looking for answers’
At Wednesday’s protest, Marion told STV News: “I’ve fought this all my life, basically looking for answers.
“We have now got to the point where we know there are records somewhere, but Glasgow Council are not forthcoming with any documents of any kind.
“There’s no way there are no records of what went on in this place.
“There were organised parties with gentlemen and the girls basically had to entertain them.
“Who are these people? This went on for 30 years, from 1961 up until it closed.”
Fornethy House was built in 1915 and was gifted to Glasgow Corporation, the city’s local authority at the time, in 1955.
It opened as a residential school six years later and closed in 1993. The building now remains abandoned and derelict.
Former residents mostly visited for six to eight weeks at a time, on the pretence they were going on holiday.
‘Looking all my life for answers’
Now in their 40s and 60s, victims have told lawyers they were sexually abused, beaten, punched and forced fed by staff while staying at Fornethy House.
Marion added: “I believe some were [sent for] convalescence, I believe some were underweight, some were told it was a holiday, but the bottom line is Glasgow Council made that choice of who to send and who not to send.
“I’ve been looking all my life for answers to this. I knew it happened and it’s affected me all my life. I’ve been through umpteen counsellors, I have received trauma counselling.
“The trauma that these women suffered is unbelievable, I’m actually shocked because I believed it was just me.
“I knew I was there and I knew my sister was there, but I thought maybe I was just too sensitive and I did not dream for a million years what has come out about what took place at Fornethy.”
Police Scotland have confirmed they were investigating reports of non-recent physical and sexual abuse at the former Angus residential school.
Detective inspector Mark Lamont, from Tayside division, said: “In complex and challenging investigations such as this, we work very closely with the Procurator Fiscal Service and we keep them regularly updated as enquiries progress. This investigation remains ongoing.
“All reports of child abuse will be fully investigated and we are committed to bringing perpetrators to justice. I would encourage anybody who has been the victim of abuse, either recently or in the past, to please come forward and report the matter to us.”
A Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal spokesperson said: “We are working closely with police and they have updated us on their investigations into allegations of abuse, but we have not received a report.
“As there is an ongoing police investigation, we cannot comment further.”
A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: “The list of claimants has now been passed to records and they are trying to trace any information on Fornethy House for our claims department.”