Browne is censured on Father Cleary affair


THE psychiatrist Dr Ivor Browne has been found guilty of professional misconduct and has been censured by the Medical Council.

The council decided to censure Dr Browne, former chief psychiatrist with the Eastern Health Board and former professor of psychiatry at UCD, over his role in the Father Michael Cleary affair.

The Fitness to Practise Committee of the Medical Council found him guilty of professional misconduct. On Monday night the full Medical Council, which had been asked to investigate an alleged breach of confidentiality, censured Dr Browne.

A woman who answered the telephone at Dr Browne's home yesterday said he had no comment to make. Following the death of Father Cleary in 1993, Dr Browne revealed details of a relationship between Father Cleary and Ms Phyllis Hamilton.

Dr Jim McDaid, the Fianna Fail TD, said he was "incredulous" that Dr Browne had been found guilty of professional misconduct. He said the decision further strengthened his personal conviction that the Medical Council, as elected, was not representative of the broad medical profession.

"I also find it disturbing that selective leaks to the detriment of the defendant can emanate from such an otherwise highly secretive body", said Dr McDaid.

There are four grounds on which a doctor is permitted to breach confidentiality when requested by a judge; to protect the interests of the patients; to protect the welfare of society; and to safeguard the welfare of another individual or patient.