A man who claims he was trafficked to Ireland and drugged and raped by multiple men whilst in the care of a former residential home in Fife is to hold a vigil in Edinburgh on the opening day of the Scottish child abuse inquiry.
Dave Sharp, 58, who says he was abused whilst in the care of the Christian Brothers running the former St Ninian’s School in Falkland, intends to hold the vigil, along with a group of abuse survivors, outside of Rosebury House on Wednesday May 31 to remember “all victims of abuse”.
Mr Sharp, who was awarded a £15,000 pay out from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in 2015, said: “As far as the programme goes the plan is for the vigil to be from 9am till 5pm.
“At 1pm we will all stop for a minute’s silence to remember all the children (across the country) whose lives were lost or taken because of child abuse and also to remember all the survivors who died without ever seeing justice.
“This will be followed by a piper playing Highland Cathedral.
“What we are asking for is the leaders of all the political parties in Scotland to join us and for the First Minister to light the first candle and hopefully lay a wreath or a bunch of flowers in memory of all the lost children.”
The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, which has been beset by a number of high profile resignations, was set up on October 1 2015 and aims to raise public awareness of the abuse of children in care.
Over 60 institutions including top private schools are being investigated over a period expected to last four years, with recommendations for the future expected on how to improve the law, policies and practices in Scotland.
Amongst those being investigated are two Dundee institutions both closed down in the early 1980s: the Balgowan List D School and the Roseangle Orphanage (St Vincents).
The first public session is due to start on Wednesday.
Mr Sharp, now living in England, has been fighting for justice for nearly 20 years.
He didn’t give testimony in court last year when two men were jailed for abuse at the former St Ninian’s School.
That’s because the man who raped him at Falkland, Father Gerry Ryan, is dead.
However, he still wants to hear a “meaningful apology” from the government, the Catholic Church and the Christian Brothers.
He said dozens, if not hundreds of men in Scotland have had their lives “shattered” by such experiences.
He added: “Please let me assure you that this vigil will be held with dignity and respect and there will be no political or religious rhetoric in any shape or form.
“A few months ago I watched on the news 2000 to 3000 people marching through Edinburgh in a protest against Donald Trump and I saw a huge banner that said: ‘Scotland Stands United Against Ignorance’.
“I just thought to myself if only you people knew about all those child abuse survivors who have been ignored for years and are drowning in a sea of neglect in addiction and suicides.
“We cannot ignore the lost children anymore.”
Mr Sharp, who blames the anger he carried around his whole life for a 20-year drug addiction and at least two spells in prison, said that only by becoming a Christian has he managed to “forgive” his abusers.