A SURVIVORS’ group has hit out at “unconvincing” apologies from a religious order that ran a controversial care home where children were allegedly abused.

John Scott QC, representing In Care Abuse Survivors (Incas), said the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul had shown a sceptical attitude amid claims of historical abuses at Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark.

While he accused the order of being more interested in its previous good name, the Daughters of Charity later insisted their apology was “unqualified and unequivocal”.

The statements came as Scotland’s Child Abuse Inquiry heard some of the practices alleged to have taken place “might well amount to a crime in Scots law”, if proven.

Inquiry chairwoman Lady Smith heard submissions in Edinburgh on Tuesday from core participants to the probe after 20 days of evidence about institutions run by the order, namely Smyllum and Bellevue House in Rutherglen.

Almost 50 former residents have testified about mistreatment they say they suffered at the hands of nuns and staff, particularly at Smyllum, which closed in 1981. Public hearings will resume in April.