Death of outspoken psychiatrist


The death has taken place of the outspoken psychiatrist and psychotherapist Dr Michael Corry. He was aged 60.

Dr Corry died at his home in Clara Vale, Co Wicklow, on Monday following a short illness.

Throughout his life Dr Corry campaigned against the over-reliance of medicine in the treatment of psychiatric patients. He was also a long-term campaigner for the abolition of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and in 2008 led a campaign to introduce a Private Member's Bill in the Seanad to prohibit the involuntary administration of ECT to patients without their consent.

A former contributor to The Irish Times, Dr Corry qualified in medicine from University College Dublin in 1973, having achieved higher qualifications in obstetrics and paediatrics. He worked as a volunteer doctor in Africa before commencing psychiatric studies in 1978 and training as a constructivist psychotherapist.

His interest in psychosis and altered states of consciousness developed from his work in St Brendan’s Psychiatric Hospital, Dublin. During his time there he developed a groundbreaking re-socialisation pilot project that focused on the rehabilitation of long-stay institutionalised patients.

Dr Corry was a co-founder of the Institute of Psychosocial Medicine in Dún Laoghaire and of the privately funded Clane Hospital in Co Kildare. He also established the Wellbeing Foundation, an organisation that campaigns for psychiatric patients' rights.

Last year he caused controversy with an appearance on The Late Late Show in which he said side effects from antidepressants could tip somebody into suicidal behaviour and homicidal behaviour.

He was speaking following the fatal stabbing of 22-year-old Sebastian Creane by Shane Clancy in Bray, Co Wicklow, last August. On the show, Clancy’s mother and stepfather alleged that antidepressants had caused him to stab three people and then himself.

Dr Corry is survived by his partner Áine; children Louise, Amelia and Julian; their mother Anne; his brothers Martin and John, and sisters Anne and Sr Premula.

His funeral service will take place at the Victorian Chapel at Mount Jerome Crematorium, Harold's Cross, in Dublin at 2.30pm tomorrow.