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Tributes paid following death of Professor Ivor Browne

Tributes have been paid following the death of Professor Ivor Browne, who has been described as a pioneer in the area of mental health in Ireland.

The former professor of psychiatry at UCD and chief psychiatrist of the Eastern Health Board was in his 90s.

Prof Browne, a controversial figure due to his opposition to orthodox psychiatry, was the subject of the documentary Meetings With Ivor.

Its director Alan Gilsenan remembered his great warmth and sense of humour.

He was “a radical figure, intellectual, very sharp and extraordinarily open and inspiring,” he said.

Mr Gilsenan said he has many memories, but one that stands out is Ivor making brown bread with his own special recipe in his kitchen.

“He was a man with a huge heart. It has been an honour and joy to have known him and his hugs will echo forever”, he said.

Mark O’Brien, executive director of the Abbey theatre, said on X: “What an extraordinary man. His legacy is so great and profound. Condolences to his family and friends.”

Prof Browne’s books include Music and Madness and The Writings of Ivor Browne.

He also conceived and was director of the Irish Foundation for Human Development.

Prof Browne was found guilty of professional misconduct and censured by the Medical Council over his role in the Father Michael Cleary affair in 1996.

He spoke out in support of Phyllis Hamilton, who revealed her affair with Fr Cleary, both of whom had been patients of his.

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