Founder and Vice Chairperson
Joan became active in victims’ rights issues following the murder of her son, Russell in 2003 and in 2005 she co-founded AdVIC (“Advocates for the Victims of Homicide”). Having experienced the harsh reality of the trial process through a victim’s lens, it became clear to her that neither the victims nor their families had any voice in the judicial process. Since this time, Joan has been a consistent advocate for the families of homicide victims to ensure that they are not ignored within the criminal justice system and to expeditiously bring about fairer treatment for families during the whole legal process. In 2006, Joan became the first victim of crime to address the Judicial Studies Institute and she has given numerous talks on the rights of the victims and their families. Joan was Chair of AdVIC from 2010-13.
On the 19th of December 2000, my life and the lives of my entire family changed forever when my beautiful Daddy Paig Clinton, aged 59, was murdered in the course of a robbery in Ardee Co Louth. From that day onwards, my battle with the justice system started. It was only then I realized that we as a family had no rights whatsoever in this country’s justice system and that the perpetrators had all the rights. This was so frustrating and stressful and made me so angry, angry also that as a result of this my grieving process never really happened. I felt totally helpless. Daddy had no voice due to the violent actions of others. After over four years of frustration with the justice system, I contacted AdVIC and vowed to help other families that had been bereaved by homicide, so their traumatic experience would be made easier than ours was.
I became aware of AdVIC in 2014 after hearing one of its members tell their harrowing story on the radio. I could identify with the horror of what they had gone through because it happened to me in 1997 when my partner was stabbed to death in London. Shortly after he died, I discovered I was pregnant, something I’m forever grateful for, but of course, our daughter has had to deal with the loss of her father all her life. The justice system has completely failed us, and while the laws in England & Wales are now more reasonably balanced, we have a long way to go to improve matters for victims in Ireland. I joined the AdVIC committee to help campaign for a fairer justice system and to ensure families and friends of victims get the support they so desperately need when faced with such a terrible tragedy.
I joined AdVIC nine years ago and now I look after the organisation’s finances. In May 2006, my eldest daughter Karen had just qualified as a medical doctor and was looking forward to a great career. Karen was only 23 years of age when her life was cut short as she was murdered in Galway on the 12th of June 2006. On receiving this news, our lives changed forever as a family. There is no going forward after losing a child to murder.
It was 16 years since my son John was murdered. Listening to the radio one day, it dawned on me that nothing had changed with the Criminal Justice system in all that time. I was livid, and I wondered what I could do about bringing a change. I found a group of people who were in the same situation as I was, and we came together to form AdVIC. It has given me great strength to carry on as best I can after losing my lovely son.
John was a member of
After losing my father to homicide in 2017, AdVIC became a huge support for me. I joined the committee to advocate on behalf of families of homicide victims ensuring they get the justice and support needed. Alongside this, I have worked in policy analysis, social inclusion and criminal justice. I hope to use my personal and professional skills to contribute towards a fairer society for all.
After experiencing a family member’s death in 2017 by homicide, I went to AdVIC to avail of their one-to-one
I worked at Victim Support as a Family of murder victims’ service coordinator and for two and a half years as a coordinator of Support after Homicide. After a few years’ break, I decided to join AdVIC to continue my work and offer my experience of supporting families and friends of murder victims.