Children's Minister leads tributes to Christine Buckley

Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald was among the politicians who paid tribute to Christine Buckley, who she described as a “courageous and consistent campaigner” for the rights of the child.

Expressing her condolences to the family and friends of Ms Buckley, the minister said she had “led the charge to lift the veil on Ireland’s dark past and shameful legacy of child abuse”.

Tánaiste and Labour party leader Eamon Gilmore said she had “suffered greatly” as a child in 1950s Ireland but had “played a pivotal role” in shining a light on the abuse suffered by children in the industrial schools and “paved the way” for others to tell their stories.

He said the documentary Dear Daughter was “a landmark work” in the history of exposing Irish institutional abuse. “This state was a very cold place for children such as Christine who were placed in the care of the State. Yet Christine’s courage and dignity in speaking out has made Ireland a better place,” he said.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said he was “shocked and deeply saddened” to learn of the death of a “tireless campaigner for survivors of abuse.” As minister for education, he worked closely with Christine and other survivors from Goldenbridge. “They made a personal impact on me that remains with me to this day,” he said.

Mr Martin said her “unwavering courage” and determination to uncover institutional abuse was a “catalyst” in the decision to establish the Lafoy- Ryan Commission.

Her vision in establishing the Aislinn Centre “was to provide a safe environment where victims of abuse could be heard and supported”.

He said: “The centre has helped thousands of people and continues to provide essential counselling and support for abuse survivors and their families.

Tweet tributes

Andrew Madden

Very saddened to hear news of the death of Christine Buckley, a courageous advocate on behalf of institutional abuse survivors.

Marie Collins

Very sad to hear today of the passing of Christine Buckley. A truly courageous and inspirational woman. May she rest in peace.

Dan Boyle

RIP Christine Buckley. An unlocker of Ireland’s horrible past.

Elaine Byrne

Ireland has lost a heroine. Christine Buckley, a woman who defined bravery. Thank you.

Susan Lohan

RIP Christine Buckley, frmr inmate of Goldenbridge, stalwart campaigner 4 Industrial School Survivors, subject of “Dear Daughter” documentary

Samantha Long

Terribly saddened to hear of the death of Christine Buckley. A torchbearer for all of us who campaigned on related issues for survivors

Martin McGuinness

Leaving Los Angeles shortly & sad to hear of the death of the courageous Christine Buckley, my sympathy to her husband, children & family.

Susan O’Keeffe

I salute your courage #ChristineBuckley. Condolences to your family and friends who will always celebrate you & your strength. And we do too.

Fergus Finlay

Very sad news about Christine Buckley. A fighter, a survivor, an advocate, a charmer, a hero among heroes. The world is a lesser place.

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