HomeAuthorIvor Browne Wife Orla Kiernan: Irish Psychiatrist Died At 94

Ivor Browne Wife Orla Kiernan: Irish Psychiatrist Died At 94

Ivor Browne wife Orla Kiernan was married to him for 14 years. The couple was blessed with four children, Ronan, Garvan, Daragh, and Tierna. Sadly, Browne met his demise on January 24, 2024, at the age of 94.

Ivor Browne, an Irish psychiatrist, author, and professor was born on 13 March 1929, in Dublin, Irish Free State.

Ivor Browne, An Irish Psychiatrist, Author, And Professor
Ivor Browne Wife: Ivor Browne, An Irish Psychiatrist, Author, And Professor (Source: The Irish Times)

Ivor was born to a middle-class family from Sandycove, Dublin. He had a challenging childhood and was frequently unhappy, often immersed in daydreaming.

He pursued his secondary education at Blackrock College, where he developed an interest in jazz music and started playing the trumpet.

After completing his time at Blackrock College, he attended a secretarial school and later gained admission to the Royal College of Surgeons.

Although his initial intention was to become a jazz musician, he opted for a medical career to satisfy his parents.

Unfortunately, during his tenure at the College of Surgeons, he faced multiple bouts of tuberculosis, diverting him from his aspirations as a musician.

In 1955, he successfully completed his medical studies, obtaining qualification as a doctor. Following his achievement, his professor of medicine at the Richmond Hospital reportedly advised him, stating, “You’re only fit to be an obstetrician or a psychiatrist.”

Lacking interest in general medicine, he chose to specialize in psychiatry. His journey in the field began with an internship in a neurosurgical unit, where he assisted a surgeon.

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Ivor Browne Wife Orla Kiernan

Ivor Browne Wife: During one of the semi-mythical journeys, Ivor Browne started to envision himself playing the trumpet. This marked the beginning of a lifelong passion for both playing and listening to jazz.

He was drawn to its rebellious and improvised spirit, appreciating the fact that it was the music of the dispossessed and the excluded, as he keenly observed.

Unfortunately, after experiencing two episodes of tuberculosis, he had to give up playing the trumpet.

Ivor Browne playing the trumpet in the field beside the family home in Sandycove
Ivor Browne Playing The Trumpet In The Field Beside The Family Home In Sandycove (Source: The Irish Times)

During months of isolation in a shed at the bottom of his Sandycove garden, he immersed himself in reading works by Cardinal Newman, Thomas Aquinas, and the Confessions of St Augustine.

This period led him to briefly embrace devout Catholicism, marking the beginning of a spiritual journey into mysticism that would continue throughout his life.

In the wake of this, he developed a love for Irish music. While on musical journeys around the country, he encountered and later married Orla Kiernan, the daughter of folk singer Delia Murphy.

However, emotionally immature and consumed by work, their marriage eventually ended. They had four children – Ronan, Garvan, Daragh, and Tierna.

Nevertheless, he acknowledged that he was not a good father, and his relationship with his children remained troubled.

Despite this, Ronan, an acclaimed piper, composed the evocative score for “Meetings with Ivor,” showcasing a connection through music.

While filming his documentary, it was revealed that the mention of his children would be the only thing to bring a shadow of sadness across his usually cheerful face.

During a Gestalt group therapy session in the 1970s, he encountered the woman with whom he would share his life, the writer June Levine. They got married in 1999.

At that time, he was grappling with loneliness, having recently ended his 14-year marriage to Orla Kiernan, and was living alone.

It was during this therapy session that he found solace by resting his head on June’s shoulder, and from that moment, they fell into a connection.

When asked about Gestalt therapy, he describes it as group drama therapy. He humorously compares it to the book “I’m OK, You’re OK,” noting that there was another book titled “I’m Okay, You’re a Pain in The Neck.”

Ivor Browne: Irish Psychiatrist Died At 94

Ivor Browne Wife: Ivor Browne, a respected psychiatrist in Ireland, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 94 in his home in Ranelagh, Dublin.

Ivor had been grappling with a heart condition since October of the previous year.

Ivor Browne, a prominent figure, had a passion for music alongside his psychiatric work
Ivor Browne, A Prominent Figure, Had A Passion For Music Alongside His Psychiatric Work (Source: The Irish Times)

Dr. Browne, a former professor of psychiatry at UCD and former chief psychiatrist at the then Eastern Health Board, was known for his unconventional approach to mental illness.

Many credited him with transforming attitudes toward mental health in Ireland. His distinctive perspective included a profound understanding of the role of trauma in mental illness and a hesitancy to heavily rely on medication in its treatment.

In his 2008 book “Music and Madness,” he referred to trauma stored in the body as “the frozen present.”

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Deepa Shrestha
Deepa Shrestha
Deepa Shrestha, a dedicated undergraduate student, adept editor and passionate writer with a talent for producing compelling articles. Beyond her academic commitments, she skillfully maneuvers through the landscape of celebrity gossip and TV shows, offering a distinctive viewpoint on the realms of cinema and pop culture.

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