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Tree planted in honour of child sex abuse victims in Islington care homes ‘will stay’: TfL

PUBLISHED: 15:31 15 April 2016 | UPDATED: 15:31 15 April 2016

Doris Daly in fornt of the tree she planted at Highbury Corner in memory of child abuse victims in Islington

Doris Daly in fornt of the tree she planted at Highbury Corner in memory of child abuse victims in Islington

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Transport bosses this week moved to dispel fears a tree planted in honour of child sex abuse victims from Islington children’s homes would be uprooted as part of development plans for Highbury Corner.

Anna Scher at the tree-planting on Highbury Corner in 1993Anna Scher at the tree-planting on Highbury Corner in 1993

The tree was planted in the arboretum at the roundabout’s centre in the wake of the scandal by journalist Doris Daly and drama teacher Anna Scher, along with two girls in care.

At the time, Ms Daly was a voluntary advocate for one of the girls.

“Those two girls were overjoyed that a tree was being planted for them,” Ms Daly, 85, told the Gazette.

“The idea was that they too would grow and flourish with the tree regardless of what happened around them.”

But Ms Daly had expressed fears that TfL’s plans to revamp Highbury Corner, which includes the addition of a cycle lane through the arboretum, would lead to the tree being uprooted.

Despite writing to the transport authority in February, she never received a response.

But when contacted by the Gazette, TfL confirmed the tree would not be touched.

On hearing the news, Ms Daly said she was delighted.

“It’s a victory for the children who were in care in Islington,” she said.

“Their evergreen tree will be preserved, a marker for them to continue to grow and survive tenaciously as their tree grows from a tiny seed to a Christmas tree.”

Exposed by the Evening Standard newspaper in 1992, the abuse of children was widespread across Islington children’s homes throughout the 70s and 80s.

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