The Writings of Ivor Browne: Steps along the road, the evolution of a slow learner
Ivor Browne is Professor Emeritus, University College, Dublin and retired as Chief Psychiatrist of the then Eastern Health Board in 1994. This book, through his writings, charts the growth of one man’s journey in relation to psychiatry and human development. Ivor Browne has been a central and controversial figure in Irish life up until the mid-nineties when he retired.
This book charts the career of a man who has always been respected for his compassion, quirky way of thinking and fearless opposition to orthodox psychiatry.
Ivor Browne has had a positive input into Irish life on both sides of the border. As a young man he was given a fellowship to Harvard University where he studied Public and Community Mental Health. He returned to Ireland determined to put what he had learned into practice and it was his initiative which took the care of mental patients away from large institutions into the community. He conceived and was director of the Irish Foundation for Human Development. This set up the first Community Association in Ireland in Ballyfermot one of the early large housing estates in Dublin. Ballyfermot was merely a housing estate without any facilities, he went in with a professional team and helped the residents to turn it into a thriving working class community.
This project was so successful that an offshoot was established in Derry, called the Inner City Trust which not only rebuilt, but transformed the city of Derry during the years it was being torn down by both sides in the conflict. The work of rebuilding was done by young people of Derry, who were trained by the Trust and inspired away from taking part in the destruction of their home town. Derry was made a model for The Prince of Wales’ urban village development project and other urban renewal developments around the world.
Ivor Browne was Professor of Psychiatry at University College, Dublin and Chief Psychiatrist of the Eastern Health Board.
ISBN 978-1-85594-219-6, Hardback, €25, £20, 234 x 156mm, 376pp, July
Ivor Browne is a great psychiatrist and an original thinker. These eloquent and searching essays chart
the progress of his mind as he sought to find new ways not only to heal his patients, but to work out
a better way for the society around them to progress. They are important documents because
they display a single mind developing ideas over half a century; they are a vital contribution to the
history of psychiatry in our time-Colm Tóibín