Newspaper and internet articles

Is Minister Kathleen Lynch responsible for two more deaths?

Trust me Does Kathleen Lynch’s inaction make her partly responsible for the recent deaths of John Deegan and Deirdre Keenan?

This week the Irish Independent reported that John Deegan, a 53 year old farmer had shot and killed himself and his 51 year old partner Deidre Keegan. Both families are said to be ‘very shocked by what had happened’. It seems that this is another Irish case of murder/suicide, one in a long list of awful tragedies, and happening with increasing regularity.

Today the Independent reported that Mr Deegan had been suffering from depression and more importantly: “It is understood that Mr Deegan had been on medication prescribed by a doctor during the past couple of months.” The experts will say that incidents like this are enormously complex and that no-one knows the complexities or intent behind the perpetrator’s reasoning. What the experts won’t say is that these drugs can cause suicide, homicide, aggression, mania and akathisia (a known precursor to suicide and/or homicide). The dangerous period is upon starting, discontinuing and changing dosage (up or down). These are adverse effects of prescription drugs which are not widely known but the truth is, Minister Lynch, the person with responsibility for mental health, does know. She is well aware of the side-effects of prescription drugs.

The facts: Two experts met with Minister Lynch in Leinster House last May. Professor David Healy told Minister Lynch that SSRIs were causing people to kill themselves and kill others. He said that drug induced death ‘is the leading cause of death Minister Kathleen Lynch. Picture courtesy of Irish Election Literaturewithin the mental health field‘. Declan Gilsenan, assistant State Pathologist for over 30 years, told her of his ‘intuition’ that SSRI’s are causing suicides and that more people have died by suicide as a direct result of seeking help, than those who didn’t. He said in his 30-year experience carrying out post-mortems, he had seen way too many suicides of people who had just started on SSRI antidepressants. So you would think that Minister Lynch would have acted immediately in order to stop any more unnecessary deaths; nope, it doesn’t seem so! Despite both experts offering their services to stop the rising deaths, nothing has been done. It seems that upsetting psychiatry’s ‘medical model’ or pharma’s ‘apple cart’ isn’t an option.

Another issue is whether Mr Deegan was monitored when first prescribed these drugs. Was he warned of the risks/side-effects of SSRI’s in advance of prescription? These are two simple recommendations, among others, set down by the Irish Commission of Human Rights last year.

Co-incidentally, a few days before this latest tragedy happened, Prof Healy published this blog: Prescription-only Homicide and Violence. He also did a report for Shane’s Inquest which might be of interest, here. The Irish Government cannot cry foul at this stage, or say they were not aware, as the information below proves otherwise:

The Dáil; Here

The Seanad (Senate); Here

Leinster House; Here

IHRC RecommendationsHere

As for Kathleen Lynch, James Reilly and the latest Irish Government: In my opinion they are putting the pharmaceutical industry’s interests before the interests of the people they purport to serve.


Newspaper and internet articles

A nation of zombies?

mannequinsThis week the  revelation that we are eating horse and pig with our beef burgers has come as a bit of a shock. Although I have to say, surprisingly, it hasn’t come as a huge shock for many, and a commonly held opinion is ‘Ah well, sure if you’re willing to eat parts of a cow, there’s not too much difference’. Surely that is completely missing the point? We are entitled to know exactly what we are buying. Whether we, as consumers, pay 10 euro or 10 cent for a beef burger, it’s supposed to be beef and if we wanted a filly burger, we’d have asked for one! Apart from the fact that if the company who sells the product cannot vouch for the content (and therefore any contagious diseases), it’s false advertising. Vegetarianism is looking increasingly attractive.

It the same with antidepressants. The name itself is false advertising. If I wanted a product which can double  the rate of suicide and cause worsening depression, not to mention heart-attacks and strokes, surely I’d have bought myself a gun? A game of Russian roulette would at least minimise the suffering. Or maybe I wouldn’t do the job properly and end up physically disabled too. Then even worse, I could be forced by the Irish judicial system to roam this world until my ‘natural’, undignified, and painful death, as shown in a recent Irish case. In my opinion, this brave woman is being discriminated against because she is disabled, by the very system which purports to do ‘justice’.

Maybe, as a consumer, I’d be one of the lucky ones, where that antidepressant would do the job which the name implies, and I’d live happily ever after, discarding the drugs after a few months. Then again, I could be the one who can’t get off the drugs, the one who is addicted and any attempt to stop the drug leaves me with debilitating side effects, unable to function, love, or care either way.

Or maybe I’d be on them for life, thinking they’re doing a great job but everyone else is thinking ‘there’s something not quite right’ with Leonie? It’s quite possible that has been said already, but if so, it’s down to life experiences and genetics, not any prescription drug. You know the type though? That woman or man who speaks a little too loud, unaware or uncaring of people around them? The one that isn’t aware of personal or societal boundaries. That woman you meet at the shop who wants a full-blown conversation with you, despite having never met her before? Or the one that always seems to be on a different planet and just that little bit ‘different’? The one who never did illegal drugs, doesn’t drink but yet has slightly slurred speech and a slightly longer reaction time to others.

Over-prescribing and prescribing dangerous medication for every twinge is rampant globally, not just in Ireland. The only winner is the pharmaceutical industry, not the patients or their families. Be informed, read the leaflet, or in the case of the Irish Medicines Board, go to the FDA website where more information is provided. Don’t be turned into a unwitting drug company zombie. Whether this rings a bell or not, the importance of finding a good doctor should never be underestimated.

If your current doctor hasn’t the time to listen, maybe it’s time to find another one!

Irish Times, Assisted suicide case

The Telegraph, Horsemeat in burgers.

EMA, Suicide/Aggression with ssri’s Link 

Antidepressants and Violence; Prof. David Healy et al, here or download here.

Suicidality, Violence and Mania Caused by SSRIs; Dr Peter R Breggin here.

Drugs associated with violence. Here.

cipramil (celexa) stories,, Newspaper and internet articles, Our story., psychiatry, Shanes story.

My ‘Mad in America’ article…

Mad in AmericaToday my article was published on Robert Whitaker’s ‘Mad in America’ website, here.

This follows the publication of my November article in the Irish Independent, here. I really appreciate the publication of my work/views, particularly as it might just warn somebody, or give an insight into the corrupt pharmaceutical industry. The most telling sentence in the Independent article is the last one “The Irish Medicines Board declined to comment.” It would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. The body entrusted with the safety of Irish medicine couldn’t or wouldn’t clarify the situation?

I have previously quoted John Le Carré; speaking of his fictional writings of the pharma industry, he said “…But I can tell you this. As my journey through the pharmaceutical jungle progressed, I came to realise that, by comparison with the reality, my story was as tame as a holiday postcard.” From my experiences since Shane died in 2009, I think even John Le Carré may have underestimated the extent of the corruption within the pharmaceutical industry, which tapers all the way down to your friendly, or not so friendly, GP.

The pharma corruption is then firmly established by psychiatry’s active and frantic denials of any problems with the pills they prescribe. Even our KOPs (Key Opinion Leader’s) in Irish psychiatry will attend inquests in order to argue that the victims death was due to his/her own fault and not the fault of the drug itself. They will trample over the dead bodies and grieving relatives in order that the defense of the drug be heard.

In case I sound like a ‘conspiracy theorist’ here, let me clarify that one. I believe that antidepressants (SSRIs in particular) cause suicide and cause homicide, among other terrible reactions. I believe that that is what happened in the case of Shane, my son. I firmly believe that psychiatry worldwide know full well that these drugs are very dangerous, but are protecting their own monetary interests. People say that these drugs save lives, and maybe that is the case, BUT, that has nothing to do with the fact that they can also kill. My son never offered to be a number in the carcrash of collateral damage left behind.

So, that’s why I appreciate the publication of my work.  If you are reading this, maybe you will be pre-warned of the possible dangers, when you or a loved-one are prescribed these drugs.


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Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness (Oxford Dictionary).

Ah yes, you remember GlaxoSmithKline? Remember the line in their Irish ‘Better Together‘ campaign “GSK wants to be healthcare partner of choice, valued for our expertise and trusted for our integrity.” In my last post about GSK, I wondered exactly what ‘integrity’ they meant. Bear in mind GSK were fined $3 BILLION in the US for, among other things, illegally promoting their drug for children; despite being aware that the drug could cause the same children to become suicidal.

Another of the charges included actively concealing the dangers of the drug Avandia. An estimated 100,000 heart attacks, strokes, deaths and cases of heart failure’ were caused by Avandia before the drug was finally taken off the market. After agreeing to pay the $3 billion dollar fine, GSK boss Andrew Witty said he was “very sorry that we have had to deal with the echoes of the past” and “We’re determined this is never going to happen again.”

Well guess what? GSK has again been been found guilty of illegally promoting another of their drugs, this time their platelet drug Revolade. The Pharma Times reported on this story yesterday. It seems that GSK are sorry alright, sorry for getting caught!!

Integrity? I think GSK’s ‘PR’ department should really get a new dictionary; their current one must have misprints!

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Me a cynic? Absolutely!

Cynical: Believing that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity. Me a cynic? Absolutely!

Isn’t it strange how ‘professionals’ are nice as long as you go with the flow and until you step away from the ‘norm’? As long as I accept that Shane was a homicidal/suicidal maniac and was just extremely good at hiding it for 22 years, I could be tolerated. As long as I accept that the drugs he was prescribed in his last 17 days were coincidental and accept what the Irish College of Psychiatry say ‘that the drugs do not cause suicide or violence’, that’s ok. As long as I don’t believe what the other experts say ‘that the drugs CAN cause suicide and Homicide’; then I’ll get the sympathy vote. That’s nice! Shane attended 2 doctor’s surgeries in the last few weeks of his life and there is a few points I would like to make that just don’t sit well:

i. When I first rang the Carlton Clinic in Bray after Shane’s death, I spoke to the doctor who prescribed Shane the drug (John McManus). He couldn’t have been nicer and said if I had any queries that we could arrange a meeting with him. When it became clear that I was bringing the issue of the adverse effects of antidepressants into the public domain, his attitude changed; he said if I had any queries, it would be advisable to put them in writing.

ii. I then spoke to our family GP in Ashford (husband and wife team, Dan McCarthy and Orla McAndrews). Shane’s last doctor’s visit was with their locum (Dr Buys/aka Dr Coatzee). Firstly, a few weeks after my son’s death I went to collect his medical records; Dr Orla came out with the envelope and said (and I quote) “there’s not much here as he was only here once.” (He only died once too.) That’s it! No “sorry for your loss” Nothing! I spoke to her husband Dan by telephone a few times and he seemed to be a tad more understanding. He assured me that the Inquest would ‘find’ whether the antidepressant Cipramil (which his locum prescribed) was involved in Shane’s death and he would talk to me then; It did and he didn’t!

iii. It also appears that their locum Dr Coatzee was in a bit of a hurry to hightail it back to her homeland of South Africa. Wonder was it something I said? Furniture for sale, urgent.

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Premalex; Corrupt Lundbeck targeting women for profit.

So who will Lundbeck target next and who is going to stop them?

It seems that Lundbeck are getting into trouble again, this time with Doctor Lotte Hvas, a member of the Danish Council of Ethics. She says “It is crazy that the pharmaceutical company is allowed to do so. Giving antidepressants to healthy with all that it entails of medicalisation and side effects.” Here.

She is referring to Lundbeck’s launching of Premalex in Sweden for Pre-menstrual symptoms. Now ‘Premalex’ happens to be another word for Escitalopram/Cipralex/Lexapro, an SSRI anti-depressant or depressant, depending on which percentage of consumers a person happens to fall into. You remember escitalopram, the same drug Brennan Mc’Cartney was on for 4 days when he killed himself, as a result of a drug-induced suicide. Also the same drug as Citalopram, (as found by a Brussels Court) and the same drug that my son Shane was on for 17 days before his death.

I looked up the Patient Information Leaflet here, and was surprised/shocked to see what the idiots in Lundbeck were recommending.

“Cycle 1 +2 The usual starting dose is 10 mg taken on the day of expected ovulation. After 2-3 days, the dose may be increased to 20 mg daily if you do not have troublesome side effects. If you are bothered by side effects, continue taking 10 mg daily. Keep taking the required dose (10 mg or 20 mg daily) until the first menstruation. Then a break before the next expected ovulation, when the same dose repeated.

Cycle 3 onwards You can continue to Premalex under Cycle 1 +2 if this worked for you. If you are not bothered by side effects, you can start with full dose (20 mg daily) was already at the date of estimated ovulation and then take 20 mg daily throughout the treatment cycle until the first menstruation. Then make a break until the next ovulation, when the next treatment period begins.”

Can you believe that? It is widely reported that the suicide risk with ssri’s is most prevalent upon starting, discontinuing, or changing dosage (up or down). Then there is the withdrawal symptoms which can start as early as 8 hours here. Yet, this awful company are recommending that women with pre-menstrual symptoms take this drug for approx 2 weeks, stop for 2 weeks and start this dangerous drug again. Who, in their right mind approved this?? Is Lundbeck being allowed to put women’s lives at risk for profit? Where are the regulators? website state, Escitalopram; “Tell your doctor if you have worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.” Here. Is anyone under the impression that Lundbeck put this in the patient Information Leaflet for the craic? Bob Fiddaman, author of “The Evidence, However, Is Clear: The Seroxat Scandal” had this to say…”GSK did it with Seroxat too. To give an SSRi to women menstruating is basically adding fuel to a fire.”












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Claire Peake; Another victim of ‘unhappy’ pills?

You know, some of the stories I read are way too close to home. This one in particular is about a young mother and it reminds me so much of my sister when she had her first baby, a little girl. She was besotted with her beautiful baby as most new mothers are and the thoughts of going back to work and leaving her daughter filled her with dread. No-one could mention the W word (work) without the floodgates opening, so we learned to dance around the subject, and referred any questions to her long-suffering husband instead. Anyway she was feeling terrible, so dispatched herself off to the local doctor who promptly, after about 10 minutes, told her she needed to go on antidepressants. My sister explained what had happened to Shane, her nephew, and the terrible consequences because of these drugs, to no avail. The doctor seemed to ignore her protestations and insisted that she needed antidepressants. She left without a prescription, feeling much worse than she had when she went in. As she was leaving my sister asked the doctor if she thought she “would get better?” The doctor’s response was.. not without the tablets!! She hasn’t been back since!

Needless to say, she’s back at work, albeit part-time, and herself and her gorgeous daughter are none the worse for it, still hoping to win the lotto though so she can give up work!

Yesterday in the ‘Mail Online’, there was an article published about a young mother and teacher who died by suicide. The article stated that Claire Peake, a ‘fantastic teacher’, had stopped taking antidepressant medication while she was pregnant but started taking it again in December. An earlier article said she was taking Mirtazapine, an antidepressant. Similar to SSRI’s which can exacerbate some patients’ depression and cause suicidal ideation (Wiki), Mirtazapine is also believed to be capable of this, hence the black-box warning in the U.S.

This woman had stopped taking the antidepressant (Mirtazapine) while she was pregnant probably for fear that these drugs can cause birth defects. She went back on the drug in December when her daughter was 3 months old.

Two days before her death her dosage was increased after she visited her GP in a tearful and distressed state. Was the doctor aware or was Claire told, that the dangerous period with these drugs is upon starting, discontinuing or changing the dosage (up or down). The article also states that Claire was clearly devoted to her 5 month old daughter. It seems that Claire was not as lucky as my sister, who, without the intervention of an antidepressant, returned to her normal happy self without the doctor’s intervention of a prescribed antidepressant.

Was Claire’s suicide caused by her depression or the very drugs that she was taking to make her feel better? Interestingly, there is another Mail Online article today entitled “They sold us ‘happy pills’ – but all we got was suicide and misery”. Article here.

Mail Online Full Article on Claire Peake.

cipramil (celexa) stories,, Newspaper and internet articles, Our story., psychiatry

Medical Council Letter

I have a funny feeling that I’m wasting my breath here. Will I be ignored? Probably! The President of the Medical Council is a member of the Irish College of Psychiatry. As I’ve said before, the Irish College involved themselves before, during and after Shane’s Inquest. The College have collectively made their opinion clear here.

Ref: D108/10

To whom it concerns,

Thank you for the Freedom of Information documents. Having now received access to Professor Cowen’s report, I have some queries regarding the decision of the Medical Council that there was ‘not sufficient cause’ to take my complaint further.

Professor Cowen states in his report that he ‘did not have experience of what would be regarded as the appropriate standard of practice for General Practitioners’ but this was considered sufficient for the Medical Council? Roslyn Whelan advised Professor Cowen that his opinion was being sought regarding his expertise in Psychopharmacology. I find it astonishing, that when I corresponded with Professor cowen, he answered questions regarding SSRI’s and Citalopram in particular that you never thought to ask.

When asked by me if the drug could have caused the events of Aug 09, he answered: “I do think it’s possible that in some circumstances SSRIs can lead to people behaving violently to themselves and others. It seems that the risk is apparent early in the course of treatment, particularly in younger people, and that’s why the NICE guidelines stress the importance of careful follow-up early in the antidepressant treatment of young, at risk patients. From this point of view Shane should have had weekly follow-up after the start of SSRI treatment.”

He further opined on the question of whether Citalopram could have contributed to or caused Shane to commit suicide and homicide? “It’s certainly possible. Leonie. What I was trying to say is that the judgment has to be made on an individual basis in the light of all the facts, and I know very little about what happened after the appointment with Dr Coetzee. However, it looks as though David Healy has looked carefully at the circumstances for the inquest and he is an expert at these kinds of assessments.”

So the Irish Medical Council’s own expert admits that these drugs can cause suicide and homicide and you didn’t have ‘sufficient cause’ to investigate further? He further admits that he didn’t have enough facts to deal with this case but acknowledged that Professor Healy did and that he is the expert in this area. The IMC had both reports so how did you come to the conclusion that there was ‘not sufficient cause’ to take further action?

Your purpose is to protect the public from the same circumstances recurring; could you tell me how you are protecting the public from another drug-induced incident, namely suicide and/or homicide?


Leonie Fennell

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Kathleen Lynch; Minister with responsibility for mental health?

Self-explanatory letter to the minister with responsibility for the Mental Health of Irish citizens. Tough job, but someone’s got to to it!

I would have thought that if experts were warning that SSRI’s were causing suicide, then something would have been done yesterday, not tomorrow. Didn’t Enda Kenny say if he was elected that his primary concern would be the people suffering with mental health issues? Well he was elected. These drugs can cause a person to kill themselves. Do something about THAT Enda. At the very least issue a warning to doctors because they seem to be unaware. This of course is not helped by the Irish College of Psychiatry, who protect their own interests by denying that the drugs can harm, and woe-betide anyone who contradicts that ridiculous stance. Anyway, please excuse my natural sarcasm when dealing with these people, who are allowing these drugs to continue to harm, can’t promise it wont happen again!


Dear Minister Lynch,

It is now almost two months since I, my husband, Professor David Healy and Pathologist Declan Gilsenan met with you in Leinster House. They each spoke of their concerns regarding the adverse-effects of antidepressants, indeed Prof Healy informed you that drug induced death are the leading cause of death within the mental health field. Declan Gilsenan spoke about his experience with autopsies and his intuition that SSRI’s are causing suicides. He thought at the very least that the statistics on suicide should be collated for investigation.

You replied that you would have to report back to James Reilly and would be meeting with the College of Psychiatry also. It seems that neither Professor Healy or Declan Gilsenan has heard anything back from you despite offering their services to help put a stop to future tragedies.

The Irish Human Rights Commission has investigated these drugs and has made important recommendations for practitioners. Sinead Lucey, who dealt with this investigation, has assured me the investigation is on-going and she will not stop till this issue is taken care of. I left you her number after the meeting: xxxxxxxxx

IHRC Recommendations….

(i)   Discussion of alternate therapies

(ii)  Referrals for counselling/psychiatric review

(iii) Within medical practices seek to ensure the same doctor deals with the person at all stages if at all possible;

(iv)  Oral explanation of risks/side-effects of SSRI’s in advance of prescription, together with relevant written information;

(v)   Guidelines regarding prescribing SSRI’s from initial stage through ongoing treatment;

(vi)  Level of monitoring and ongoing supervision required when SSRI’s are initially prescribed

(vii) Maintenance of adequate consultation notes; and

(viii)The necessity to obtain a full patient history before prescribing SSRI’s

If we were talking about the side-effects such as nausea or diarrhoea I could understand the delay, but considering we are speaking of people’s lives here, I do not understand. Filibustering regarding this topic is not acceptable. This is a matter of life or death. How many people have died by a drug-related suicide or homicide in the two months following our meeting? Future deaths are in your hands and as you are the Minister with responsibility in this area, I for one, will be holding you accountable.


Leonie Fennell

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Niall Boylan of Classic hits Radio; great show on the adverse effects of antidepressants.

Last week on Classic hits 4FM, Niall Boylan did a show on the overprescribing of Antidepressants and the dangerous adverse effects of these drugs. There was 2 medical professionals on the show, Dr. Moira Dolan from Texas and Dr. Harry Barry from Ireland.

Dr. Dolan talked about how antidepressants have been involved in the majority of school-shootings around the world. She also spoke about Akathisia: an adverse effect of these drugs that the pharmaceutical companies are well aware of but the majority of the public are not. Akathisia is an adverse effect of these drugs which can cause a person to commit suicide and suicide/homicide.

Well done to Classic Hits 4FM for allowing this Doctor to warn the Irish Public.

Dr. Harry Barry didn’t have much input or opinion on the fact that these drugs can cause suicide and/or homicide. I guess that’s his right. Dr. Barry was the guest speaker at the launch of Lundbeck’s Mental Health Barometer. Lundbeck make the antidepressant Cipramil, the same drug that Shane was on and the same drug which caused my lovely son to commit murder suicide after 17 days. Harry also gets a mention in Lundbeck’s ‘Lean on Me’ campaign.

In my opinion (and I’m entitled to have one) doctors can of course be linked to pharmaceutical companies, it isn’t a crime, BUT if people are dying from these drugs, at least give all the information.                                

Anyway, I came on the show after Harry left, so I missed the opportunity to ask him directly about his relationship with Lundbeck. Maybe I’m being a bit hard on Harry, maybe he truly isn’t aware of how corrupt Lundbeck are; if he isn’t, I apologise.

For anyone with a low attention span (like me), Dr. Dolan speaks first and I am on at around 42 mins. Click on the link to listen to the show; Link