“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”

(Samuel Smiles)


I am the father of a young man with a profound intellectual disability. I am also a lawyer. It therefore makes sense that I am interested in ‘mental health law’, and the impact of this law on ordinary people. People who might be at their wit’s end trying to secure the brightest future for their loved one with ‘special needs’.


I am also keenly aware that a lot of parents, and other family members, of persons with intellectual disabilities and/or mental illnesses; are not aware of the law and the protections it sometimes offers. The experience of most people when it comes to mental health law is the obstacles that it places in your way, rather than the doors that it opens.


I intend to use this blog to hopefully cast some light into these gloomy corners of the law. I also invite people to write in with suggestions of topics that I can try and explain. Since moving to Ireland I no longer practice as a barrister, which means I cannot give legal advice (as I have no Professional Indemnity Insurance). However, I can try and explain why and how and commiserate when the law clearly “is an ass”.


I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, and the law’s treatment of disabilities and illnesses will sometimes irk these professions. It would be nice to have these and other health professionals contribute to the discussion, as I am fully aware that some of the concepts still practiced in our mental health law probably belong in the Dark Ages.


So welcome one and all, let the journey begin!


Categories Mental Health Law

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