The Confidential Committee listened to a person’s experiences of abuse in institutions in total confidence. The Confidential Committee did not inform anyone or any institution that a person made an allegation against them and did not name anyone in any report.
Each hearing was held in private with the Commissioners. The person who came to tell of his or her experiences was given the names of the Commissioners who would hear the evidence. He or she could bring one person into the hearing with them for support or to assist in fully describing his or her experiences. He or she could also bring along any documentation or papers concerning his or her experiences.
The Commissioners at the hearing recorded the experiences recounted. An audio recording was made and this was fully explained and shown. If a person objected to the audio recording, the Commissioners present made a written record. It was required by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Act, 2000 that a record was made of all hearings. No copy of the recording could be taken away from the hearing.
The Confidential Committee hearings were conducted in an informal atmosphere that was designed to help a person tell of his or her experiences with as little difficulty as possible.
In planning hearings, the Confidential Committee gave priority to survivors based on their age and any special health requirement that was drawn to the attention of the Commissioners.
The Confidential Committee heard evidence from 1090 witnesses.