Aiseiri tribute to one of its great supporters, the late Dr Jim Morrison

Aiseiri tribute to one of its great supporters, the late Dr Jim Morrison

The late Dr. Jim Morrison was a great supporter of Aiseiri and its work.

 

 

Aisieiri has paid a moving tribute to the late Dr Jim Morrison, Clonmel, former Tipperary chief psychiatrist.

Cyril Darcy, Chairperson of the Aiseiri Trust, writes – 

 

A Tribute to Dr. Jim Morrison, RIP

In the depths of your hopes and desires

Lies the secret knowledge of the beyond;

and like the seeds dreaming beneath the snow

your heart dreams of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate of eternity.

(Kahlil Gibran)

 

 

On the last day of February, 2018, a day when the country was in the grip of ice and snow, Aiseiri lost one of its greatest supporters – Dr. Jim Morrison,  RIP. Aiseiri is a charitable organisation that guides people suffering from addiction towards recovery.

In the early 1980's Dr. Morrison was the consultant psychiatrist to St. Michael's Unit in Clonmel. On the staff was a young nurse, a Sister of Mercy, who came to realise that the key to recovery for many people in addiction lay not in medical treatment but in a supportive, drug free, therapeutic environment.

Dr. Morrison supported Sr. Eileen Fahey in her request for special leave to gain further training in the field of addiction counselling.  In this he showed outstanding courage and vision, as he was before his time in recognising addiction as a specific illness for which many people could be successfully treated outside of the psychiatric hospital services.

 With support from her Mercy Order, Sr. Eileen managed to acquire  beautiful premises in Cahir and the first Aiseiri centre opened in 1983. Four years later, a second house was opened in Wexford. In those early years  

Dr. Morrison was Sr. Eileen's most staunch ally in helping to allay the fears of local people and in assisting her, along with other loyal supporters, to navigate the uncharted waters of planning permissions, dealing with legal and revenue requirements and liaising with funding organisations.

 Dr. Morrison's greatest gift to Aiseiri was his voluntary attendance in Cahir each Monday afternoon, to complete a clinical assessment with each new client. He took a special interest in residents presenting with dual conditions.

Clients in recovery from many parts of the country would return years later to check in with him, if they relapsed into depression or other disorders. He always gave them the feeling of hope. He never rushed anyone and he left them feeling special and valued.

 After the news of Dr. Morrison's death reached Aiseiri, many people who knew him and had worked with him, shared their anecdotes and memories of him. They talked about his compassion, his empathy, his unfailing respect for everyone, staff and residents, regardless of their background or status. He spent time in the coffee room where his good humour and calm demeanour made everyone feel safe.  They always respected his skill and positivity.

One long standing supporter of Aiseiri, who had previously worked with Dr. Morrison in St. Michael's, emphasised his willingness to be available at all times on the phone or in person, to give advice, or to deal with a crisis. He recalled that on one particular Sunday morning when Dr. Morrison was off duty, he was contacted by phone to deal with a very volatile, distressed person. His wife, Maura, was at Mass, but undeterred, he put his young children in the car and drove to the hospital. He dealt with the situation in his own inimitable way and the patient recovered.

 For many years, Dr. Morrison continued to support Aiseiri which has now expanded considerably (www.aiseiri.ie), providing residential addiction treatment and aftercare services to adults and teenagers.

After an accident he was unable to drive but Maura, continued to drive him to Cahir to meet with clients. Despite being a very busy person in her own right, she would wait for him and drive him home when his work was done. Such was the dedication of these two wonderful people to the residents in Aiseiri.

When he suffered a stroke in later years Dr. Morrison was cared for lovingly at home. His great medical knowledge, combined with a highly evolved humanity, made him an exceptional human being. It was a privilege to know him and we are all the poorer for his passing. He was well ready for the “gate of eternity” on the 28th February, 2018.  May his kind and generous soul receive the reward which he deserves.

On behalf of the Aiseiri Company, I extend sincere condolences and gratitude to Dr. Morrison's wife, Maura, and to their family.

Cyril Darcy   - Chairperson of the Aiseiri Trust.