Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Lady Valerie Goulding

Lady Valerie Goulding (1918 - 28 July 2003) was an Irish campaigner for disabled people, who set up the Central Remedial Clinic in 1951, now the largest organisation in Ireland looking after people with physical disabilities. She served as a member of Seanad Éireann from 1977 to 1981.

Valerie Monckton was the daughter of Sir Walter Monckton, a British lawyer and politician who became chief legal advisor to King Edward VIII during the Abdication Crisis in 1936. Valerie married Irish fertiliser manufacturer and art collector Sir Basil Goulding, Bt., and moved to Ireland. In 1951 she co-founded the Central Remedial Clinic in a couple of rooms in central Dublin, to provide non-residential care for disabled people. The Clinic's foundation initiated a revolution in the treatment of physical disability and rapidly grew to by far the largest centre dealing with the needs of disabled people. Lady Goulding remained active in the CRC until the 1980s.

On account of her widespread popularity, Taoiseach Jack Lynch appointed Lady Goulding to Seanad Éireann (the Irish Senate) where she worked to raise awareness of disability issues. She was re-appointed in 1979 by the new taoiseach, her close friend Charles J. Haughey. She sought election to Dáil Éireann twice as a Fianna Fáil candidate, both times unsuccessfully. She was spoken of as a possible President of Ireland in 1983, along with former Nobel and Lenin Peace Prize winner Sean MacBride and former head of the International Olympic Committee, Lord Kilanin, should the then president, Dr. Patrick Hillery decline to seek a second term. (Hillery ultimately was re-elected).

Lady Valerie Goulding died, aged 85, on 28 July 2003. She was predecessed by her husband, Sir Basil Goulding, in 1982.