The Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards cermony for 2010 took place last Friday & as Denis O’Brien said there was a “wonderful harvest of social entreprenuers in the room“. One of those wonderful & inspiring people was John Mc Carthy of Mad Pride Ireland who talked about his personal experiences & his wish to have sections of the Mental Act 2001 changed. In particular he is working to change the law regarding forced treatment for people in institutional care.

The purpose of mad pride is simple and straightforward and so terribly complicated. It is to dismantle the fear and ignorance that surrounds the normality of madness within the wider community.

We particularly target the media to engage because media will influence politics. It was stated very honestly recently by one of our TD’s Mr Dan Neville FG opposition spokesman on mental health “there are no votes in “mental illness”.

Mad pride Ireland will change that fact.

I would so love to welcome you to the land of saints and scholars but I am forced to welcome you to a land that uses fear of people like me, the normally mad, to support a law, the mental health act of Ireland of 2001, to deny me access to the protection of the common law.

Rather uses that fear and prejudice to allow me a citizen of this country to be locked up potentially for the whole of my life based on a doctor’s opinion of my behaviour. Section 8 MHA

Mad Pride Ireland will change that fact.

Forced to take any or all medications, based on a doctor’s opinion of my behaviour. Section 57 MHA

Mad pride Ireland will change that fact.

Forced to take ECT against my will, on a doctors opinion.
Section 59b MHA.

Mad Pride Ireland will change that fact, and it will do it by never addressing any of this at its events.

He also talked about how he wants us to celebrate differences & help stop lonliness. John finished off his talk by singing a great version of the well known song Summertime.

You can check out the Mad Pride Ireland website by clicking on this link here or you can contact John by email at johnfmccarthy_90@hotmail.com . You can also show your support by liking their Facebook page & getting regular updates.

About the author

Pauline Sargent Pauline Sargent is the founder of Drimnagh is Good a hyperlocal community website bog for the people of Drimnagh. Connect with Pauline on Google + me on Google+



  1. John McCarthy on Monday 4, 2010

    thank you Drimnagh for the kind words, it was a great night. SEI is a wonderful organization.
    WE will continue to fight for human rights in mental health.
    Trying to force people on the emotional edge to become well is such a stupid idea, yet that is what the current mental health system falls back on FORCE as cure.

    It is stunning how so many of the voluntary agencies in this country support the use of force as a legal right in this state.
    keep an eye on the forthcoming statement from Amnesty Ireland they are proposing to make force treatments more difficult as a solution.
    NSUE ceo supports force in mental health.
    They need to visit lock up wards talk to people in there for years based on nothing more then medical opinion being forced treated.
    Please listen to RTE doconone lives less lived it tells the story of a girl raped at 17 she is still in a psych unit at 78, the guy who raped was niether charged or treated.
    It took me two years to put this show together mainly because of stigma.
    Mad pride Ireland will change all that and we will do it with love and fun, proving that society has no real reason to fear us.
    We are heading to Dublin for the first time next year, we will let you know when we have it finalised.
    Thank you again talk soon

  2. pauline on Monday 4, 2010

    Thanks John

    I am sure there a lot of people who are interested in what you have to say. I’m certainly being educated & thinking differently about something I have to say gave little or no thought to in the past.

    Wishing you well in your endeavours. And do let us know when your coming to Dublin & we will do our best to help promote the wonderful MADPride Ireland.

    Take care.

    Pauline