Christine Buckley

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Christine Buckley (1946/1947 – 11 March 2014) was the director of the Aislinn support and education group for survivors of Industrial Schools in Ireland.[1] She was raised in St. Vincent's Industrial School, Goldenbridge.[1]

The daughter of a Nigerian medical student and a married Irish woman from Dublin,[2] she was abandoned at three weeks of age and grew up in Goldenbridge industrial school.[2] She went through primary and, unlike many industrial school children, secondary school, eventually qualifying as a nurse. In 1985 she contacted her mother, and in 1988 she contacted her father.[1]

She spoke of her childhood on The Gay Byrne Show in November 1992.[3] During the interview she was asked about her childhood and she described her experience of St. Vincent's Industrial School, Goldenbridge. She worked with Louis Lentin on the documentary Dear Daughter, which dealt with both her own experiences and those of other victims at Goldenbridge.[2]

In 2003, she called on Fianna Fáil Minister for Education Noel Dempsey to resign after he proposed that the Commission investigate only sample allegations of abuse instead of the 1800 complaints.[4] After the Commission report was published, she spoke of being filled with anger though she should have been filled with hope.[5] In June 2009, she took part in a wreath-laying ceremony and a march of solidarity with victims of abuse in industrial schools.[6] Up to 10,000 people took part in the march.[6] In June 2009 she criticised a letter to priests by Pope Benedict XVI on the grounds that it used vague language and that it may have concealed rather than acknowledged the wrongs done.[7]


She died on 11 March 2014, after a long battle with breast cancer.[8][9][10][11]


In December 2012, Trinity College, Dublin awarded her an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (LL.D) in recognition of her work for people who were subjected to institutional abuse. Presiding at the ceremony was former President of Ireland Mary Robinson in her capacity as Chancellor of the University.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Buckley, Christine. "A long journey in search of justice for victims of abuse", The Irish Times, 19 May 2009; retrieved 4 November 2009
  2. ^ a b c Dear Daughter, Irish Film and TV Research Online, Trinity College Dublin
  3. ^ "Ryan Report". Child Abuse Commission. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "Dempsey defends record on Laffoy", RTÉ News, 3 September 2003, retrieved 4 November 2009
  5. ^ "'We can't get on with our lives. It's just not that easy. . .'", The Irish Times, 21 May 2009; retrieved 4 November 2009
  6. ^ a b "Thousands march in solidarity with abuse victims", The Irish Times, 10 June 2009; retrieved 4 November 2009
  7. ^ "Pope is slammed over vague abuse response"[permanent dead link], The Irish Post, June 2009; retrieved 4 November 2009
  8. ^ "Tributes following campaigner Christine Buckley's death". RTÉ. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Campaigner Christine Buckley passes away after a long illness". Irish Independent. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Warrior, survivor, advocate, charmer — Christine Buckley was a hero among heroes". Irish Examiner. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "Bravest warrior is finally at rest". Irish Mirror. 11 March 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Honorary Degrees". Trinity College Dublin. Retrieved 24 December 2012.