Croydon residents who claim they were victims of emotional, physical and sexual abuse while they were in Irish state institutions are hoping to form a support network for other survivors in the borough.

Last month the Croydon Guardian revealed how a Purley woman was seeking compensation for the violence she suffered in a children's home in Ireland.

The article sparked calls from other Irish-born Croydon residents who went through the same thing.

The victims are hoping to set up a support group with others in Croydon who were affected by the abuse.

Last month Mary Connor*, from Purley, spoke about her appalling abuse while she was growing up in two orphanages in Ireland.

Coincidentally a woman from New Addington - who is also in the process of applying for compensation - went to the same Limerick home as Mary in the late 1950s.

Colleen Murphy*, like Mary, also became a nurse and also chose not to marry or have children following her abuse. She said: "I think I am about 56, but I can't be sure because the convent took my birth certificate and never returned it.

"I was beaten but I also had my hair cut with garden shears as punishment for something. The nuns did it with such force that they cut my scalp.

"Every time I wet the bed I was forced to tie the soiled sheets over my nose and mouth as punishment. I find it very hard to make friends now, but I would like to meet others who were in the same boat."

A 75-year-old man from Purley, who does not want to be identified, is claiming compensation after violence meted out by priests at the school he attended in Dublin left him partially deaf. He said: "The priests would lift me up by the ears all the time and after years of them doing this it left me with partial hearing.

"I would really love to meet up with other people from Croydon who went through the same thing as me."

Victims are being urged to apply for compensation from the Irish Government by the charity Aislinn.

Survivors of abuse are being urged to make contact with Aislinn before the December 15 deadline on 0845 606 6115. Calls will be treated in strictest confidence.

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the victims Call the newsroom on 020 8774 6590 to find out more.