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Dr Ada English: patriot and psychiatrist in early 20th century Ireland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 June 2014

Mary Davoren
Mater Misericordiae University Hospitaland Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at UCD, Dublin, Ireland
Eugene G Breen
Mater Misericordiae University Hospitaland Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at UCD, Dublin, Ireland
Brendan D Kelly*
Mater Misericordiae University Hospitaland Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at UCD, Dublin, Ireland
*Correspondence E-mail


Dr Adeline (Ada) English (1875-1944) was a pioneering Irish psychiatrist. She qualified in medicine in 1903 and spent four decades working at Ballinasloe District Lunatic Asylum, during which time there were significant therapeutic innovations (eg. occupational therapy, convulsive treatment). Dr English was deeply involved in Irish politics. She participated in the Easter Rising (1916); spent six months in Galway jail for possessing nationalistic literature (1921); was elected as a Teachta Dála (member of Parliament; 1921); and participated in the Civil War (1922). She made significant contributions to Irish political life and development of psychiatric services during an exceptionally challenging period of history. Additional research would help contextualise her contributions further.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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