Our Achievements from 1999
"A light has been shone into the dark corners of both our past and present and these victims have performed an immense service in challenging our collective complacency. They have shown us that we cannot put the past behind us by ignoring it. We must confront it and learn its lessons. That is the least we can do to address the injustice of the past and the dangers of the present" - An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern 11th May 1999
2007 - was a very positive year for many survivors as learners:
- One survivor passed Leaving Certificate Examinations with an honour in Geography.
- One survivor passed Junior Certificate Examinations.
- Three commenced counselling courses.
- A number of survivors passed E.C.D.L.
- A second survivor won an award at D.C.U.
- A survivor commenced an Arts Degree in Trinity.
- Another survivor passed tests in Microsoft Office User Specialist course.
2008 - Centre attendee graduated with honours qualification from University College Dublin.
- One Survivor received best poetry award at Dublin City University and took part in the Summer Workshop there.
- One Survivor sat the Leaving Certificate Examinations and attained honours in French.
- One Survivor accepted into Trinity’s University Access Programme (T.A.P).
2009 - A survivor accepted into the College of Art. This survivor is an inmate in a prison and attended our centre as part of his release programme. It was in our Centre that his talent was recognised and nurtured and with the support of Pathways this person has succeeded in realising his dream.
The former Taoiseach Mr. Bertie Ahern T.D. awarded 116 Certificates, which included FETAC Q.Q.I. Certificates and special Certificates for those who continued to endeavour with their studies and education.
Two survivors were accepted on the Advanced Computer Course at Liberties College Dublin.
A survivor was offered a place on one N.U.I. Drama Degree Course.
Achievements since Ryan Report publication
The publication of the report by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (Ryan Report). This reports explains the extensive scale of abuse suffered by children in various residential institutions and industrial schools from 1940 or earlier, to 2005.
See more information via http://www.childabusecommission.ie
On 10th June 2009, there was a silent March of Solidarity organised under the voluntary leadership of our team and supported by Barnardos, One-In-Four, the Children’s Rights Alliance and the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.
A petition of solidarity was presented to the Conference of Religious of Ireland and representatives of 18 Roman Catholic religious orders who signed an indemnity deal.
Demonstrators left children's shoes at the Dáil entrance to symbolise the loss of innocence of young abuse victims.
The scandal of the abuse was described as Ireland's mini holocaust by several campaigners.
Survivors continue to want the abuse recognised.
A day of Solidarity in Áras An Uachtaráin organised by our Aislinn Education and Support Centre for Survivors of Institutional abuse, hosted by President of Ireland Mary McAleese.
November 2009, the publication of the Report of the Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin (Murphy Report)
2010 One survivor completed a Diploma in Web Design and was teaching computers.
In various years a number of our centre clients have received Creative Writing awards from Dublin City University and literacy awards from the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA).
2013 Our survivors arts, crafts and knitters groups were invited to make blankets and clothes for babies at Irish maternity hospitals.
2014 Volunteers and survivors worked on the 2nd floor outdoor space of the centre to create a garden full of flowers, tomatoes and strawberries for the enjoyment of all survivors, clients and volunteers visiting the charity.
2015 Our Aislinn singers at centre composed, recorded and sung their own survivors song for video about the co-founder of their community Christine. Listen and watch our two-minute video which won "Better Together" prize at 2016 National charity impact awards: "I dreamt last night I saw Christine"
2016 Commemoration activities - various survivors groups were involved in inter-community art forms to mark Ireland's centenary.
2017 Informal voluntary family and friends of charity fundraising efforts and volunteers events such as charity raffles and Charity Cycle in aid of Aware charity and our charity centre.
2018 Join our volunteers at any time of the year. For example, please help at class-time during term-time, also Christmas-time especially.
In 1999 with the support of then Taoiseach and also then Minister for Health Micheál Martin the centre, then called the Aislinn Education and Support Centre for Survivors of Institutional abuse was established. (Formerly Association of Healing Institutional Abuse A.H.I.A).
2000 Ireland's "Victims of Abuse Groves - The People's Millennium forests"
Victims of Abuse Groves were established in recognition of the abuse of children in religious run institutions. They were established
in 2000 in The People's Millennium Forests by the National Millennium Committee led by Minister Séamus Brennan in each province:
in Ballygannon, near Rathdrum, Co.Wicklow; Glengarra, Cahir Co. Tipperary; Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo and Derrygorry, Co. Monaghan. Many survivors attended the dedication of the Wicklow grove.
In each grove there is a commemorative seat with the inscription: "This Millennium Grove is devoted to all victims of institutional abuse who have suffered immeasurably. May the future ensure that those most vulnerable will never again endure such pain and deprivation."
2001 - Publication of Aislinn Short Stories, launched by the former Taoiseach Mr. Bertie Ahern T.D. 58 survivors submitted their own original composed short stories for a book.
Christine Buckley was invited to Canada to represent Irish survivors and address members of the First Nations who survived similar Canadian residential institutional abuse.
2002 - First survivor group received FETAC Q.Q.I. Education Awards thanks to their attendances at our classes presented by the former Minister for Education Dr. Michael Woods. This was followed by a culinary home-made feast organised by the survivors.
2003 - Exhibition of survivors' art works was opened by Irish artist Phelim Egan.
2005 - Another 35 clients received Further FETAC Q.Q.I. Education Awards.
Our Education and Support Centre for Surviors of Institutional Abuse moved to Jervis House in Dublin City Centre.
A survivor attained full-time employment with the Post Office for the first time at the age of 53. It was thanks to the support of our Centre and the dedicated educational programmes that enabled him to finally succeed.
Three survivors were accepted on UCD’s University Access Programme.
2006 - The play ‘Tears of a Clown’ written by an attendee Glenn Gannon was opened at Andrews Lane Theatre by Mr. John O’Donoghue, former Minister Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism.
Then Governor John Lonergan invited the cast of survivors to perform in Mountjoy prison.
The author of the play, Glenn Gannon made huge strides after his attendance at our centre in 2002. He was homeless then and estranged from his family however through support and counselling he reclaimed his life. Glenn went on to develop a career as an author. He also acted in films and TV programmes. Glenn Gannon wrote his own biography "Miracle Man: from homeless to hollywood" which includes reference to the helpful support he received from Christine Buckley.