For the 11th year running, yet another public protest against the psychiatric procedure of electroshock took place on The Grand Parade, Cork on Saturday.


During the procedure, an electric current is passed through the brain of an anaesthetised person to deliberately induce a grand mal seizure.  Psychiatrists defend the practice by claiming it is beneficial for severely depressed people who have not responded to drug ‘treatment’.


Recent figures indicate that almost 250 people are electroshocked in Ireland every year.  Two thirds of them are women and many are elderly.


The Saturday protest heard testimony from people who said that rather than helping them, they endured lasting memory loss and brain damage leaving them with reduced cognitive capacity.


One grandmother spoke of how, after being electroshocked 3 days after the birth of her child, she still has no recollection of the event.


Another speaker put the use of the procedure in the wider context of psychiatry’s belief in a bio-medical model of people with broken brains which can be ‘fixed’ by a surge of electricity.  A more humane and empathetic approach was required, he said.


While a recent amendment to the Mental Health Act removed the word ‘unwilling’ in relation to people not wanting the procedure, it left intact the word ‘unable’ which, in effect, still leaves the decision in the hands of two psychiatrists.  Furthermore, the Act also allows for the overruling of any Advance Directive in which a person has stated they did not want the procedure.


The protest was organised by MIndFreedom Ireland, a Cork based psychiatric survivor group which campaigns against the abuse of human rights in psychiatry and is opposed to forced ‘treatments’ including forced drugging and electroshock.


It was part of a wider International Day of Protest Against Electroshock on May 12th which saw similar protests in several countries around the world.


Jim Maddock, MindFreedom Ireland, May13th 2018. Mob. 086 0624445.


     7th MAY 2018.




A protest against the controversial psychiatric practice of electroshock, still used in Irish hospitals today, will take place in Cork next Saturday, May 12th.


The procedure, carried out under general anaesthetic, involves passing an electric current through a person’s brain sufficient to cause a grand mal epileptic seizure.


Proponents cannot say definitely how it works but reserve the right to administer it.  Opponents say there is no scientific evidence that so-called mental illnesses exist and equally that there are no biological markers to prove that electroshock works, even as it definitely causes cognitive impairment and permanent memory loss.


The latest figures from The Mental Health Commission show that electroshock was given to 243 people in Ireland in 2015, two thirds of them women.


The protest is the 10th organised by MindFreedom Ireland, a Cork based psychiatric survivor group which campaigns for human rights and against forced treatment.


It is being held this year to coincide with a ‘First Do No Harm’ protest against the American Psychiatric Association  held in New York last Sunday and the worldwide International Protest to Ban Shock Treatment on May 12th.


It takes place at 2pm outside the park on The Grand Parade, Cork and testimony will be given by people who have had personal experience of the procedure.




Jim Maddock,

MindFreedom Ireland,


May 7th, 2018.

Phone: 086 0624445.

Cork woman Mary Maddock and her husband Jim have been invited to speak at the XV11 World Congress of Psychiatry to be held in Berlin, October 8th to 12th.
The Maddocks are joint authors of the book 'Soul Survivor - A Personal Encounter with Psychiatry' which challenges psychiatry's medical model of 'treatment' and describes how they rejected the label of Bipolar given to Mrs. Maddock in 1983 and who today, has been drug free for the past 18 years.
Their story also featured in the the book 'Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs' by German author and publisher Peter Lehmann who will be a keynote speaker in Berlin and is a  fellow survivor.
Founded in 1961 with headquarters in Geneva, the World Psychiatric Association is the world's largest organization of mental health professionals, representing 118 different countries and more than 200,000 psychiatrists.
Meeting once every three years, the theme of the Berlin congress is 'Psychiatry of the 21st century: Context, Controversies and Commitment'.
In 2003, the Maddocks founded MindFreedom Ireland which campaigns for humane alternatives to the current 'mental health' system.  It is affiliated to MindFreedom International and with them is opposed to forced 'treatment', the use of electroshock and other human rights violations, including those inherent in the 2001 Irish Mental Health Act.
It is also aligned with the Critical Voices Network Ireland (CVNI), a network of people from diverse backgrounds who want an Irish mental health system which is not based on the traditional bio-medical model and will participate in the annual two day CVNI conference in Cork to be held in the UCC School of Nursing in November.
Jim Maddock
2nd October, 2017.
Ph: 0214894303;0860624445 



On Saturday May 13th, psychiatric survivor group MindFreedom Ireland will mark 10 years of protest against the controversial procedure of electroshock with a public demonstration on The Grand Parade, Cork.


Increasingly worldwide, shock recipients are speaking out against the outdated and brain damaging procedure in the face of concerted campaigns by psychiatry to say it is safe and effective.


In the welter of information and misinformation being circulated, certain facts need to be clearly stated.


Firstly, by their own admission doctors do not know how it is supposed to work.  Secondly, deliberately provoking a grand mal seizure is at the heart of the procedure.  Thirdly, doctors also now admit that permanent memory loss can  be the result.


So controversial is the procedure that many psychiatrists themselves refuse to administer it.


Recipients relate how entire segments of their lives have been obliterated with their decision-making capacity severely curtailed.  Many say they were not given full knowledge of the adverse side effects before being pressurised into giving their consent.


Under the Mental Health Act 2001 an Advance Directive in which a person  states they do not want electroshock is not legally binding.


Typically, a single programme of electroshock can be up to twelve individual 'treatments', usually twice a week.  The most recent figures available show that over 2,000 'treatments' were administered in Ireland in 2015.


The protest commences at 2pm outside Bishop Lucey park.  MindFreedom Ireland campaigns for equal human rights for all and against forced psychiatry.  It calls for a total ban on electroshock as is the case in Luxembourg and Slovenia.




MindFreedom Ireland, Cork.

Ph: 021 4894303.  Mob: 087 3893830.





U.S. lawyer and human rights activist Tina Minkowitz will speak at a public meeting in Cork on January 20th.


Ms Minkowitz is a former co-chairperson of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP) and is founder of the Centre for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry.


She represented WNUSP in the drafting and negotiation of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in New York in 2007 and is credited with much of the advanced thinking of the CRPD in the area of legal capacity, liberty and respect for the integrity of the person, in effect providing human rights campaigners with a new foundation for challenging established standards in 'mental health' care. 


To date 160 countries have formally ratified the Convention.  The continuing Lunacy Regulation Act 1871 which condemned people to the status of non-citizens had caused problems for the Irish government and even though the long awaited Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 was finally signed into law on 30th December 2015, issues surrounding 'mental capacity' and 'legal capacity' still remain, leaving Ireland one of only 11 countries, 10 years later, still to ratify the Convention.


In Cork, Ms Minkowitz will speak about her Absolute Prohibition Campaign which calls for a total and absolute ban on involuntary detention and forced treatment of people with psycho-social disabilities.  She says that too often the pain and suffering resulting from forced psychiatry is not acknowledged or is made to seem insignificant with the testimonies of survivors frequently disbelieved.


Fear and terror, disassociation from mind and body, brain damage including memory loss, deprivation of privacy and subjection to the will of others, withdrawal syndrome from psychiatric drugs, diabetes and damage to organs such as liver, kidney and thyroid are among the many effects experienced, making forced psychiatry a focal point for discrimination.


Ms Minkowitz has given expert presentations to the UN, government and NGOs in several countries and consults with interested parties analysing draft legislation in light of the CRPD.  She comes to Cork from Galway where she addressed a conference in UCG on 'Consent and Refusal: Mental Health Human Rights and the Law'.


As a worldwide initiative, her Absolute Prohibition Campaign is open to all survivors and non-survivors, relatives, lawyers, researchers, academics, service providers and journalists so long as they actually support the aim of prohibiting and abolishing all involuntary commitment and forced treatment.


The talk is being organised by MindFreedom Ireland, a Cork based psychiatric survivor and support group which for the past 14 years has been also campaigning for the same objectives.


It takes place in Bru Columbanus, Wilton, Cork on Friday January 20th at 7.00 pm.  Admission is free but donations are welcome.




Jim Maddock,

MindFreedom Ireland,


January 9, 2017.

086 0624445.



                                                       Tina Minkowitz