From the age of three, Margaret McGuckin was verbally and physically abused at a children’s home in Northern Ireland. She was regularly beaten with sticks and leather straps, held under water and called ugly and evil. At age 11, Margaret was told by one of the nuns that she had to leave the children’s home. This left Margaret alone in the world, spending her days wandering train lines, releasing her anger onto the world and going in and out of prison. It was during this time that she earned the nickname Mad Maggie.
In between prison stints, Margaret had children and began to want to change her life but did not know how. One day, when she was before the courts facing yet another jail sentence, Margaret prayed and cried out: “Lord, if you’re real, would you get me off?”. Margaret was spared jail time and she instantly knew that this was God’s work. “There was a feeling, like of joy, that no one else could take away, that I knew he was real”.
Slowly but surely, Margaret turned her life around, embraced Jesus and found peace and forgiveness. Margaret eventually became the leader of the charity SAVIA (Survivors & Victims of Institutional Abuse), that gives a voice to victims of historic abuse in Northern Ireland.
This video by the CV Europe team shows Margaret’s emotional and inspiring story. Watch here.