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Photos & reports from Mother's Day Protest of Electroshock in Ireland, Toronto and Montreal.

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Protests were held on Mothers Day, 13 May 2007, in Ireland, Toronto and Montreal. Here are photos and reports from all three.

Photos & reports from Mother's Day Protest of Electroshock in Ireland, Toronto and Montreal.

MindFreedom Ireland Protests Electroshock in Cork on Mother's Day 13 May 2007 in solidarity with protests in Toronto & Montreal.

For report and photo from Toronto protest click here.

For report and photo from Montreal click here.

Here is report and photo from Ireland:

by Mary Maddock, MindFreedom Ireland

The first ever public demonstration against electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) in Cork, Ireland took place on Sunday, 13 May 2007 at Daunt Square.

Organised by MindFreedom Ireland, who campaign for a non-violent revolution in the mental health system, the demonstration was in solidarity with similar demonstrations in Montreal and Toronto Canada which also took place on Sunday, May 13th. For background information on the Toronto protest including news conference and poster click here.

The day is Mothers Day in the U.S. and Canada and was selected to mark the fact that the greatest number of recipients of ECT are mothers and grandmothers.

ECT has been in use since 1938. It involves passing an electric current through the brain of a depressed person who has been anaesthetised, resulting in a ‘grand mal’ seizure. It has always been a controversial treatment. Its proponents claim it helps in cases of severe depression but its critics argue that it causes permanent brain damage and memory loss and is often ‘threatened’ on a patient or administered without proper informed consent. Every year, over 1000 people are given ECT in Ireland.

The demonstration heard first hand testimonies from a number of recipients of ECT, including Mary Maddock, founder-member of MindFreedom Ireland. Other speakers were Kathy Sinnott, independent MEP, Dan Boyle TD and John McCarthy, independent health candidate in the upcoming election.

For more photos of the MindFreedom Ireland protest go to:

The Irish Times published this report [corrected]:

Tuesday 14 May 2007

Protesters urge cessation of electro convulsive shock therapy in State

by Michelle McDonagh

A complete ban on the use of electro convulsive shock therapy (ECT) in Ireland was called for at a public demonstration against the treatment held in Cork city yesterday.

A small group of some 30 people, including former ECT patients, turned out in the pouring rain to voice their opposition to the controversial treatment.

The demonstration, which was held at Daunt Square, was organised by human rights group MindFreedom Ireland.

Director of the advocacy group Mary Maddock, who describes herself as an "ECT survivor", called for a total ban on the therapy which she said caused her to suffer memory loss and other problems.

"Two-thirds of those who get ECT are women. Mothers and grandmothers are the chief recipients of ECT. We held our public demonstration in conjunction with ... two other protests in Montreal and Toronto also today, which is [Mother's] Day in Canada," she explained.

The event was attended by Cork MEP Kathy Sinnott who said some 800 people receive the treatment every year in Ireland. Independent health candidate for Cork North Central, John McCarthy, said the practice should be completely banned.

For  more information about  the  protests in Toronto and Montreal see "Related Content" below.

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Ted Chabasinski

Ted received electroshock at the age of six, and spent 10 years of his youth locked up inside a state psychiatric institution. He became a psychiatric survivor movement leader in 1971, and later became an attorney. He has served on the board of MindFreedom International for several years. (Photo by Tom Olin)
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