Children's rights advocate Norah Gibbons dies

Updated / Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 20:23

Last year Norah Gibbons was appointed as chairperson of an independent study on familicide and domestic homicides (

Tributes are being paid following the death of Norah Gibbons, the first Chair of the Child and Family Agency Tusla who advocated children's rights throughout her career.

In a statement, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said Ms Gibbons has left behind a tremendous legacy, in particular for the children of Ireland.

He noted that she made a major contribution in her work as a member of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse and other bodies addressing historic child abuse.

Ms Gibbons also chaired the Roscommon Child Abuse Inquiry, co-chaired the Independent Child Death Review and from 2014 to 2018 she served as the first Chair of Tusla.

In 2019, she was appointed by the Minister for Justice and Equality to lead the independent study on familicide and domestic homicide.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone described Norah Gibbons as passionate and indefatigable in her service to children and the State. 

"Her establishment and leadership of Tusla placed children and families at the centre of Irish law, policy and public service". 

On Twitter, the Chief Executive of the Children's Rights Alliance Tanya Ward said Ireland had lost one of the most dedicated children's rights campaigners. 

Few people, she said, share Ms Gibbon's track record in changing children's lives. 

"Robust, compassionate and generous to the end." 

Norah Gibbons is survived by her husband Sean, son Miles and daughter Maireas.