Shanes story.

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 59,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 22 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

psychiatry, Random, Shanes story.

Well-Being Foundation Award

The Well-Being Foundation: “It’s that time of year. Time mag, the IT, the Grauniad, they all do it. We’re not great ones for PoY awards, partly because they exclude so many deserving people, but for once — Leonie Fennell is our Woman of the Year. Hero!” 

Photo Courtesy of Caroline
Photo Courtesy of Caroline

Aw shucks! I’m not quite sure what to say here, except – I’m very proud to accept the ‘Woman of the Year’ award from the Well-Being Foundation. This Foundation was set up by Dr Michael Corry and his partner Aine Tubridy.

Taken from the Well-being website following Dr Corry’s death on 22/02/2010 – “If opposition is any sign, then Michael’s campaigns certainly rattled the ‘great and the good’ of Irish psychiatry. Professor Patricia Casey sued him and RTE for libel in 2005, a case settled by the broadcaster, and Professor Ted Dinan of UCC made a complaint to the Fitness to Practice Committee of the IMC over his public comments on the role of SSRIs (in Shane’s case).” Ah yes, so no surprises there then!

It was a pleasure to meet both of these lovely people, albeit, it goes without saying that I wish it was under different circumstances. I accept this award with enormous pride on behalf of myself and Shane, particularly as it’s coming from the Well-being Foundation. Thank you, and rest in Peace Dr Corry and Aíne Tubridy!

Cuba 12

Dr Corry and Aine Tubridy

Our story., psychiatry, Random

Let’s Talk About Suicide.


The above talk will include evidence and experience, both from myself and Maria Bradshaw, CEO of  Casper New Zealand. There may be other speakers or there might not, we’re winging it a bit at the moment. Anyway, everyone is welcome and I can assure you, we will try not to disappoint.

What I should have informed Maria is that the last time I did any public speaking I was about ten. My mother thought it was a good idea to send me to elocution lessons (should have got a refund). The elocution teacher, Miss Meredith, decided to put us in a Feis Ceoil (Festival of Music) where I was to recite ‘The Grandfather Clock‘ to a humongous room full of strangers. The first line came into my head, then zilch, nothing, nada, a blank empty head was left where my brain had once been. The prompter, whose prompting was getting louder and louder, might as well have been speaking double dutch, and to add to my humiliation I had to be escorted off the stage as my feet had mysteriously cemented into the highly polished wooden stage.

So whether you’re coming to see if I’ve improved or whether you’re coming to listen to Maria’s expert testimony, you’re all very welcome.


The Irish Medicines Board €27 million funding from the pharmaceutical Industry.

O.K…From what I can gather from the E-Mails below from Kathleen Lynch, T.D, (Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People) in 2009 alone the Irish Medicines Board received 27.08 million euro from the pharmaceutical industry.  

Despite concerns over the Irish Medicines Board risking “Conflict of Interest ” with it’s close relationship to the pharmaceutical industry, their CEO Pat O’ Mahony’s previous employment within the same and committee members receiving pharmaceutical payment for speakers fees ect but not considered as staff, it appears that very little change has happened yet!

The IMB has not declared their conflict of interests as it was supposed to do in 2010 and the Irish Government has not instructed a policy whereby drug Industry “payments to Docs” is publicly available. It begs the question…why not, if there is nothing to hide?


Ref: AM525
27th May 2011

Ms Leonie Fennell

Dear Ms Fennell

Kathleen Lynch, T.D, Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People has asked me refer to your most recent email concerning the Irish Medicines Board.

The Irish Medicines Board receives approximately 85% of its funding from fees paid by Industry with the remainder coming from the exchequer.  The IMB is moving towards becoming fully funded by Industry and it is envisaged that it will have achieved full self-financing within the next few years.

I trust that this information will be of some assistance to you.

Yours sincerely
P.P. Anne McGuire

Adrian McLaughlin
Private Secretary


Ref: AM525

F.A.O Kathleen Lynch, TD, Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People.
Hi Kathleen/Anne,
Thank you for your reply dated 27/05/2001.
I’m sorry but could you clarify some points for me please, as I’m not sure I really understand your answer concerning the Irish Medicines Board.
Surely the 85% of “fees paid by the industry” does not mean fees paid from pharmaceutical companies? If this is the case, that can hardly constitute self-funding?
Can you tell me how many members of the IMB have financial ties to the industry?
Can you clarify how much money exactly was the 15% paid by the exchequer, say in the year 2009? I can work the rest out for myself!
As you haven’t addressed my concerns about ssri antidepressants side effects and the fact that they can include (inter alia), suicide, homicide, heart failure, breast cancer, stroke and birth defects, I would like to again, reiterate my request for an investigation into these drugs.
By the way, I do apologise if you feel I am putting you on the spot and I must say I do acknowledge the fact that you actually replied to me. I also sent an e-mail to our minister for health James O’Reilly on 10/03/2011 and considering the fact that he was originally a G.P, and would probably be in a better position to answer my queries, I am still awaiting a reply!
Yours sincerely,
Leonie Fennell


Ref: AM525

28th July 2011

Ms Leonie Fennell
Dear Leonie

Kathleen Lynch, T.D, Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People has asked me refer to your email of 30th May 2011.

The Irish Medicine Board’s (IMB’s) code of conduct requires that staff may not hold any direct financial interest in any industry regulated by the IMB. Neither may staff be employed, carry out any consultancy or paid work of any kind or act as a director or partner in any regulated industry.

In 2009 the IMB received €4.062m from the Department of Health and Children.

On a final note, please be advised that Minister Kathleen Lynch has responsibility for this area and this issue does not come under the remit of Dr James Reilly T.D., Minister for Health.

I hope that this information will be of some assistance to you.

Yours sincerely

P.P. Anne McGuire

Adrian McLaughlin
Private Secretary