Flanagan leads tributes to children’s rights advocate Norah Gibbons

Charlie Flanagan
Charlie Flanagan

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has led tributes to children’s rights advocate Norah Gibbons, who has passed away following illness.

Ms Gibbons, a qualified social worker, played a key role in a number of child abuse inquiries and was the inaugural chair of Tusla from 2014 to 2018.

She was appointed last year to lead the independent study on familicide and domestic homicide, but recently passed responsibility to solicitor Maura Butler.

Speaking today, Mr Flanagan said: “I was deeply saddened to learn of the untimely death of Norah Gibbons.

“Norah was an exceptional woman who brought her innate judgment, common sense and humanity to everything she did.

“Norah Gibbons leaves behind a tremendous legacy, in particular for the children of Ireland.”

He added: “During her final illness, Norah continued to work to help others, through her leadership of the independent study on familicide and domestic homicide.

“It was typical of her resolute sense of purpose that, in recent weeks, she was keen to ensure that this important work would be completed and I was glad to be able to give her that assurance.”

Ms Gibbons was a member of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse from 2000 to 2009, chaired the Roscommon Child Abuse Inquiry from 2009 to 2010, and co-chaired the Independent Review Group on Child Deaths from 2010 and 2012.

She was director of advocacy with charity Barnardo’s from 2005 to 2012, and a member of the Acknowledgement Forum of the Historical Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland from 2012 to 2015.

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