NEWS — 14 March 2014

By Shelley Marsden

Christine Buckley, a survivor of instutional abuse that later founded the Aislinn Centre, has died of cancer.

A member of staff at the Aislinn Centre told TheJournal.ie: “We are all devastated. It’s a huge loss. She is such a survivor that you don’t even believe it. That she is going to be taken before her time.”

Christine, born to a Nigerian medical student and a married Irish woman, was brought up in Goldenbridge industrial school, where she was subjected to both physical and mental abuse.

She went on to campaign on behalf of other survivors of abuse, and co-founded the Aislinn Education and Support Centre, for survivors of abuse and their families.

Christine passed away just after 6am this morning after a short hospital stay. She is survived by her husband Donal and three children.

Bernardos Chief Executive Fergus Finlay called her “a fighter, a survivor, an advocate, a charmer, a hero among heroes”.

“Her legacy will live on in our collective recognition of the need for a better child welfare and protection system”, he said. “That system needs to live up to the hope and vision that she and other survivors hold for future generations of children in Ireland.”

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said Christine Buckley’s work was “pivotal in changing Irish perceptions of institutional abuse and led to a new era of child protection in this State.”

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