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2015 in review

December 30, 2015

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 400 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Advancing Recovery in Ireland, UN, ENUSP

October 27, 2015


Photo: Sean Crudden

Leonard Hatrick, president; Mrs. Anne Muldowney, vice-chairperson; Paul Smyth, mentor; Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes OMD PhD, chairperson: pictured after the IMPERO Autumn interim meeting held in Brian Muldoon’s Restaurant, Ardee, Co. Louth starting at 14:00 on Saturday 24 October, 2015

The Autumn interim meeting of IMPERO  took place in Brain Muldoon’s Bar in Ardee, on Saturday 24 October 2015.  Present were: Sean Crudden, secretary; Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes; Francis McCormack; Paul Smyth; Leonard Hatrick PC; Mrs. Anne Muldowney.

Apologies were received from Kevin McGeough and Joan Hardy.

The chairperson, Michael Desmond Hynes, welcomed everyone and thanked Leonard for arranging the venue.

Sean read aloud the minutes of the previous interim meeting in February from the IMPERO site on the internet using his tablet computer.  The minutes were adopted on the proposal of Anne seconded by the Archbishop.

Sean asserted that mental patients had been degraded and suppressed over the past 70 years.  ARI is the latest vehicle to try to improve the situation.  Advancing Recovery in Ireland.  Sean pointed out that recovery in this context was a spurious or ersatz type of recovery maintained and bolstered up by strong medication.  It was not recovery in a true or absolute sense.  If drugs are the answer to the problem then newer and more acceptable drugs are required to replace the crude elixirs of the present day.  There was a noticeable feeling of paranoia in the meeting about ARI and someone expressed the hope that it would not be merely a whitewash.

Francis McCormack was delegated the task of trying to find our why IMPERO’s registration to attend the UN Summit on 25 September 2015 had been thwarted.  The summit which took place on the day Pope Francis visited the UN was held to launch the post 2015 sustainable development agenda.  IMPERO had taken an active part in the on-line discussions among Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) leading up to the development of the agenda.

Sean will attend the ENUSP empowerment seminar in Brussels from 13 —> 15 December 2015, DV.

There was a measure of discussion around the issue of the way mental patients are being represented in Ireland at the present time.

IMPERO has ~ €350 cash on deposit in a reserve business account in Ulster Bank, 100 Clanbrassil Street, Dundalk.

The next interim meeting of IMPERO will take place on Saturday 20 February 2016 in Brian Muldoon’s Restaurant, Ardee, starting at 15:00.


Photo: Francis McCormack

Seán Crudden pictured in Brian Muldoon’s Restaurant on Saturday 24 October 2015 after the IMPERO Autumn interim meeting.

Spring Interim Meeting 2015

February 24, 2015


Our Lady of The Wayside Church, Jenkinstown.

Photo: Sean Crudden


Mrs. Anne Muldowney in the foyer of Our Lady of The Wayside Church after a successful meeting of IMPERO on 21 February 2015

Photo: Sean Crudden

Sean Crudden, secretary; Anne Muldowney, chairperson; Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes, vice-chairperson: attended the meeting in the meeting room of Our Lady of The Wayside Church, Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland.  Apologies were received from Leonard Hatrick, president; Peter Murphy, mentor.

The meeting was opened by the archbishop who spoke an extempore prayer seeking help from above and hoping for a friendly meeting and a positive outcome.

The minutes of the previous meeting on 15 November 2014 were read aloud by the chairperson and were adopted on the proposal of the archbishop seconded by Anne. 

Arising from the minutes the secretary reported that the proposed reading of a play among ourselves had been put on the long finger due to the pressure of business. 

Sean read his journal for the four days he spent at the ENUSP international symposium and General Assembly which took place in Danhostel, Hillerod, from 11 December 2014 to 14 December 2014.

He said there had been a changing of the guard in ENUSP as a result of the general assembly.  John M. Kidney has replaced Seán as deputy board member for the NW Region of Europe.  The chairperson remarked that it was good to have an Irish representative on the board and complimented Seán on the work he had done since 2010 in and around the ENUSP board.  Sean remarked on the great work done by Karl Bach, Claus Beck, Gabriela Tanasan, in raising finance for and organising the General Assembly the first since Thessaloniki in 2010.  With a young, talented, largely female board prospects were good for the future of ENUSP he concluded

Some key phrases from the discussion on “Family, Stigma, Recreation” were as follows.  Practical supports.  Don’t get isolated.  Right not to be stigmatised.  Try to change the thinking on stigma.  What is it?  What does it mean?  Socially created.  Lack of awareness.  Accept cultures.  Stigma lessens with age.  Get in touch with your higher self.  Erase stigma.  Within families.  Jealousy, anger, revenge.  Why should one member of a family do that to another?  Ability to love and care for their family.  Not happening now.  Natural instincts.  Brainwashed.  Church?  Spiritual aspect.  Own spirituality.  People telling other people things that are not right.  Education?  Weigh things up better.  Do people down.  Humble. 

Seán said Joan Hardy had done a great job as mentor to IMPERO and pointed to a different but equally effective approach to mentoring by Professor Dennis Pringle who is current mentor of Cooley Environmental and Health Group.  Seán feels that the concept of mentoring might have a fruitful application for individuals in the situation of peer advocacy, peer support, assisted decision making.  The meeting decided to try to research the topic more fully at local level.

The archbishop and Anne agreed to cooperate in opening a Facebook page to try to improve IMPERO’s public relations.

IMPERO has ~ €290 in the bank.

It was decided to offer a meal of brown bread and salad before the General Assembly of IMPERO in June.  Those opting to avail of the meal would be expected to make a contribution of €10 each. 

The meeting adjourned sine die.

2014 in review

December 30, 2014

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 530 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 9 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Winter Interim Meeting, 15 November 2014

November 17, 2014


Pictured in the foyer of Our Lady of The Wayside Church after the meeting Peter Murphy, Mentor, and on his left Leonard Hatrick, President of IMPERO.  Click to enlarge.

Photo: Seán Crudden

A winter interim meeting of IMPERO took place in Our Lady of The Wayside Church, Jenkinstown, on 15 November 2014 starting at 14:00.

Present: Francis McCormack; Paul Smyth; Leonard Hatrick, President; Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes OMD PhD, Vice-chairperson; Kevin McGeough, Treasurer; Edward S. Crudden; Seán Crudden, Secretary; Peter Murphy, Mentor.

Apologies: Anne Muldowney

The archbishop took the chair in the absence of Anne Muldowney, chairperson.

The minutes of the Spring interim meeting were read aloud by the secretary and adopted on the proposal of the Archbishop seconded by Edward S. Crudden. The secretary also read out an account of the General Assembly of IMPERO which took place in June. For information of those present.

The archbishop reported that the North Louth Joint Policing Committee with the recent local elections has almost reached the end of its term. There will be a new structure replacing the Co. Louth Community and Voluntary Forum. It remains to be seen what this will be and how the new structure will involve contact with policing.

The secretary reported that the creative writing classes earlier in the year had concluded successfully. Thanks are due to tutor, Linda Newe, and also to Sinéad Fearon, community education officer with Louth/Meath Education and Training Board.

The secretary suggested that we might organise in the New Year the reading of a play among ourselves.

He reported that he had met in September Colette Nolan, CEO of Irish Advocacy Network, and her PA, Gráinne Ferris, at a graduation ceremony in DCU for Peer Advocates, at their invitation. It seems that IAN will be sending a delegate to the ENUSP 7th General Assembly which will be held in Hillerӧd from 11 to 14 December 2014.

The question arose was tax payers money being spent wisely in the case of bodies like IAN and MHC or is all this merely cynical window dressing?

IMPERO has renewed its membership with ENUSP and update details for their site.

Seán Crudden was ratified as IMPERO delegate to Hillerӧd.

There was a lively and dramatic discussion on suicide prevention, crisis intervention, police. Francis suggested the use of a refuge or “half-way” house as an alternative or precursor to mental hospital. Clearly if a young person in crisis gets hooked into psychiatric drugs they are looking at a life-long dependency on these drugs with all the attendant disadvantages such as difficulty holding a job or damaged marriage prospects. So is it wise to plunge a young person directly into the psychiatric system? The mentor drew attention to the role of drug companies and suggested more alternatives and a more holistic approach to mental illness.

It was accepted that IMPERO should be diplomatic and refrain from accusing or condemning other organisations in the field. A mechanism for complaints was mentioned and the mentor suggested that for the moment IMPERO should ventilate its general concerns through its delegate to Hillerӧd.

The next interim meeting will take place in Spring, Saturday 21 February 2015, starting at 14:00, in Our Lady of The Wayside Church, Jenkinstown.

Stimulating Workshop on Public Speaking

November 27, 2013


Photo: Seán Crudden

Linda Newe, tutor, and Anne Muldowney, chairperson of IMPERO, pictured after a very enjoyable workshop held in The Old Schoolhouse, Bellurgan, Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland.

The workshop began at 19.30 on Tuesday 26 November 2013.  The subject of the workshop was how to compose and present a short speech, body language, etc.  The workshop concluded at 21.30.  Although no-one thought so at the time there was a strong comic element underlying proceedings at the workshop.  Many thanks to Sinéad Fearon of Louth/Meath Education and Training Board for providing IMPERO with an accomplished tutor for the workshop.

9 people participated in the workshop including the tutor.

EU Membership: Ireland 40 Years On

February 8, 2013

A conference and lunch organised jointly by European Economic and Social Committee’s various interests group and European Movement Ireland took place on Friday 1 February 2013 in Castleknock Hotel & Country Club, Porterstown Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15.  The title of the conference was “Ireland 40 Years On: the benefits, opportunities and challenges of EU membership.”  Pictured below at the conference, Seán Crudden, secretary, IMPERO; and Noelle O’Connell, Executive Director, EM Ireland.


The conference was sponsored by Bord Bia (Irish Food Board).  Among the speakers were Joan Burton T.D., Minister for Social Protection and Mairéad McGuinness MEP.  The first thematic session, “The costs and consequences of a non-Europe,” was chaired and moderated by Eileen Dunne, International President of the Association of European Journalists, newscaster with RTE.

Secretary and Mentor Meet

August 8, 2012


Joan Hardy, mentor, and Seán Crudden, secretary; met for coffee and a short discussion in Ballymascanlon Hotel on Tuesday 7 August 2012 at 11.00.  Kevin McGeough, joint-treasurer, and Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes, joint treasurer, were both otherwise engaged and declined to attend.  Seán and Joan discussed the spate of publicity recently about mental illness, consultation and the legislative process, professional responsibility, community development, film, ECOSOC status, the interim meeting to be held in October.

Seán & Joan

Peers in Concra Wood

May 1, 2012




Click on thumbnails to enlarge.  Click again to enlarge further on some machines

Michael Farrelly and I took a little trip to mark 1 May 2012 from his home in 19 Cherryvale, Dundalk, to Concra Wood, Castleblayney Golf Club, after lunch today, driving in my white 2010 Toyota iQ.  Michael and I have many things in common.  Although his father was from Longford, his mother from Leitrim; my father from Westmeath, my mother from Meath; Michael and I are both natives of Co. Louth, he living in Dundalk and I living in Jenkinstown on the rural outskirts of the town.  Michael is 66 and I am 68 at the present time.  He played in goals for Clan na Gael; I played in the full back line for Hunterstown Rovers: gaelic football.  Michael has two sisters, alive, and two brothers, dead.  I have 2 sisters  and 2 brothers, too, all of them still alive.  Unlike Michael, you see, I am older than all my siblings.  We shared a psychiatrist, Professor S. Desmond McGrath, in St. John of God’s in the 1970’s/1980’s and we both attend the same psychiatrist now, Dr. Geraldine Lyster, in the Ladywell Clinic, Dundalk.  Michael trained in Jury’s Hotel as a hotel manager and really enjoyed working in Canada in that business in his early years.  I am a fully qualified teacher and practised my profession for a number of years until things got too much for me.  As you know 1 May is associated with labour and the worker.  Work was the furthest thing from our minds today as we reminisced and pontificated about life.  A cold day, windy, with a hint of moisture in the air.  As you may detect from the pictures this did not deter the golfers.  Quite a few women braved the elements today.

Consultation on Mental/Legal Capacity; Greenore G.C., August 2011

August 29, 2011


Click on thumbnails to enlarge

A consultative meeting took place in Greenore GC starting at 14.00 on Saturday 27 August 2011.  The topic was mental/legal capacity.  A letter from Finbar Toal about a placement with IMPERO under the Tús scheme was shown around, read, discussed.  The meeting heard that Ita Daly had agreed to take up the office of president of IMPERO according to the terms decided at the general meeting in Omeath in June this year.  Joan Hardy kindly agreed to be mentor to IMPERO for another two years again according to the decision of the general meeting in June.  The meeting began with an informal prayer spoken by the Archbishop asking for guidance from the world of the spirit.

Present were: Mrs. Anne M. Muldowney, chairperson; Kevin Hynes, committee; Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes OMD PhD, joint-treasurer; Joan Hardy, mentor; Seán Crudden, secretary.

Apologies: Dermot Mooney, vice-chairperson; Kevin McGeough, joint treasurer.

What follows is simply a transcript of the notes I took during what was a lively and fluent discussion.  There will be no formal minutes because the meeting was extra-curricular and informal.

Disband Leader

Cut funding

Work from home


Costs less for work at home

Ita Daly

Joan Hardy

If you can drive a car you can make decisions



Can’t read and write

What is normal?

Mooner, Head-the-ball.

Chocolate mad in the head?

If you don’t know where you are going any road will do.

No unique way to make decisions

Make as much decisions themselves as possible


The rules and regulations covering physical restraint should be broadened to cover chemical restraint.

Make informed decisions

Given more than one option

Doctor decides

Any treatment has to be given for the patient’s benefit


Acute phase a high hill to climb to make decisions

Mental illness diverse

Best person to make the decision


Lunacy Act 1871

Capacity and Guardianship Bill 2007


IMPERO is grateful to Greenore GC for the use of their salubrious and excellent facilities for this meeting.  The next meeting of IMPERO will be the formal interim meeting which will take place DV in late November probably in Greenore.