Campaigner Christine Buckley’s bravery and self-sacrifice praised
‘The nation owes her an enourmous debt of gratitude’, Justice Seán Ryan
Christine Buckley (67): Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said “her life’s work contributed to a vast improvement in child protection in the church in Dublin and in wider Irish society.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Ireland would not have seen the exposure of decades of abuse of children by religious-run institutions without the work of campaigner Christine Buckley, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.
“I am sorry to have heard about Christine’s death. I think she was a person of immense courage, who was responsible as a pioneer in bringing to public awareness the question of institutional abuse,” he said.
Ms Buckley (67) died yesterday in Dublin’s St Vincent’s Hospital after a long illness.
Mr Justice Seán Ryan, who headed the Ryan commission, said “her contribution to the understanding of institutional abuse of children . . . cannot be overestimated.
“At great personal cost, she brought to public attention terrible wrongs done to children with the authority of the State.” She was “an indefatigable champion of those who were abused as children and disbelieved as adults. The nation owes her an enormous debt of gratitude.”
He said “she was a pleasure to meet and to deal with”. In the “difficult and sensitive circumstances of the Child Abuse Commission she was always courteous and dignified”.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said her “courage and dignity in speaking out has made Ireland a better place”.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said “her unwavering courage and her singular determination to uncover institutional abuse was a catalyst in my decision to establish the Laffoy-Ryan commission”.
Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said “her life’s work contributed to a vast improvement in child protection in the church in Dublin and in wider Irish society.”
Ms Buckley’s funeral Mass will take place tomorrow morning at 10am in the Church of St Thérèse, Mount Merrion, followed by burial at Shanganagh Cemetery, Shankill. She is survived by husband Donal and children Cliona, Darragh and Conor.