Tributes paid to Christine Buckley following her death
Micheál Martin highlights her “unwavering courage”
Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said Christine Buckley was a courageous and consistent campaigner for child protection and children’s rights.
Politicians and supporters of abuse survivors have been paying tribute to campaigner Christine Buckley following her death this morning.
Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said Christine Buckley was a courageous and consistent campaigner for child protection and children’s rights. “As a survivor of institutional abuse, Christine led the charge to lift the veil on Ireland’s dark past and shameful legacy of child abuse,” she said.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said Ms Buckley would have a lasting place in Irish history as someone whose bravery and commitment to justice led to significant and permanent change.
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“As Minister for Education, I had the privilege of working closely with Christine and other survivors from Goldenbridge,” he said. “They made a personal impact on me that remains with me to this day. Her unwavering courage and her singular determination to uncover institutional abuse was a catalyst in my decision to establish the Laffoy — Ryan Commission.”
He said Ms Buckley was a tireless campaigner for survivors of abuse and it was her concern for others that led her to establishing the Aislinn Centre.” Her vision was to provide a safe environment where victims of abuse could be heard and supported. The centre has helped thousands of people and continues to provide essential counselling and support for abuse survivors and their families.”
One in Four executive director Maeve Lewis said Ireland was a different and better place because of Ms Buckley’s work. “Her participation in the Dear Daughter documentary brought the suffering endured by children in the care of the State and religious congregations to public awareness for the first time,” she said.
Ms Lewis said Ms Buckley was not afraid to confront senior politicians and religious leaders about their failures and to insist that they meet their obligations to survivors. “Christine modelled for us all how it is possible to overcome enormous personal adversity and through her courage and tenacity to force us all to address a great wrong.”
Speaking on RTÉ’s Radio this morning the director of Dear Daughter , Louis Lentin, said the documentary had a huge impact on people. He said the phone never stopped ringing after the documentary was broadcast.
“There was a lot of reaction that was not good,” he said. “Christine was accused of just telling lies. I was accused of Church-bashing...”we received here an awful lot of phone calls of people telling their story, who we had not tracked down.
He said Ms Buckley was a “most amazing” woman. “She was a fighter. She protested during her time in Goldenbridge. Once she had made up her mind actually she just kept on protesting.”