RESULTS from the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry have been a long time coming. The inquiry itself got off to an inauspicious start with senior figures leaving amid claims of political interference. But its first official report is horrifically clear about the physical and sexual abuse, emotional torture and humiliation of children which took place at institutions run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

Such findings are important to victims of childhood abuse, many of whom have simply sought recognition that they were telling the truth. Case studies like this, ahead of a final report, are valuable, especially given some elderly victims will not live to see the inquiry’s final report – originally due in October next year, but chair Lady Smith has already said she will need longer.

The report is a strong indication of the approach she is taking. Many observers were sceptical about the Sisters’ protestations, carefully marshalled by lawyers, that they knew nothing of any abuse and such activities were anathema to their order’s ethos. Lady Smith has tossed aside such objections. She more or less states the Sisters of the Daughters of Charity lied in their evidence to the inquiry. In relation to worker Charlie Forsyth, for instance,, Lady Smith says: “It was not accepted by any Sisters who gave evidence that Charlie hit children or abused them,” adding, to the contrary: “The abuse he inflicted on children was sometimes brutal and cruel. I am satisfied ... Sisters knew he abused children.”

While this report will give some a sense of closure, it is not enough for all of those who were abused. Some seek compensation, others want perpetrators held accountable. They will need to wait for deputy first minister John Swinney’s coming plans for a reparation scheme, while police have detained an charged around a dozen nuns and former staff at Smyllum. But there must be an immediate end to the denials from organisations responsible for such abuse, along with a willingness to offer realistic compensation for childhoods, and adult lives, ruined.