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Saturday 30 August 2014

Buckley honoured on Ryan Report anniversary

Mark O'Regan

Published 21/05/2014 | 02:30

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Christine Buckley’s husband Donal and son Conor at the ceremony honouring the campaigner

CHRISTINE Buckley – who devoted much of her life fighting for child abuse survivors – has been celebrated at a special commemoration.

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"It was an emotional day because there was such warmth today from everybody,'' her husband Donal told the Irish Independent last night.

The ceremony was held in the Aislinn Centre on Dublin's Jervis Street which had been co-founded by Christine for abuse victims.

A number of survivors recalled how much she had done to bring their plight into the public domain, and her dogged spirit in their fight for justice.

"So many people were touched by her and what she did for them. My daughter read some poems to help express some of Christine's thoughts on all those children who became victims," Mr Buckley said.

"It was also to try and help survivors in their healing process."

Christine, who had suffered from breast cancer, died in March.

Her son Conor spoke of how the Aislinn Centre is now a place of solace and refuge for victims.

"Some survivors composed a song called 'I Dreamt I Saw Christine Last Night'. But it was an upbeat song – so it wasn't too painful,'' said Donal.

The tribute ceremony was held on the fifth anniversary of the landmark Ryan Report on the problem of institutional child abuse.

Carmel McDonnell-Byrne, current director of Aislinn, warned vigilance is needed to ensure the ongoing protection of children.

"The importance of listening to children has been taken on board,'' she said.

It was Christine's own experience of abuse that convinced her of the need to fight for other victims.

Irish Independent

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