Garrett O’Connor was a distinguished psychiatrist and a pioneer in the field of addiction treatment. He was also the husband of acclaimed actress Fionnula Flanagan and a consultant for the movie The Wolf of Wall Street. He died peacefully at his home in Aughrim, Co. Wicklow, on September 1, 2015, at the age of 76. What was the cause of his death and how did he live his life?
A Life of Service and Excellence
Garrett O’Connor was born in Dublin in 1939 and graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in 1960. He moved to the United States and studied psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he became a professor and a director of several programs. He was a leader in the development of community psychiatry and emergency services, and was instrumental in opening channels of communication during the 1967 Baltimore riots, earning him a commendation from the mayor.
He married Fionnula Flanagan, a renowned actress and activist, in 1972, and they moved to Los Angeles, where he continued his academic and clinical work at UCLA. He was also the director of the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Comprehensive Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program. He had a special interest in the role of cultural and familial trauma in the development of addiction, especially among the Irish and Irish-American populations. He wrote extensively on the topic of malignant shame and its impact on mental health and recovery.
He was the president and CEO of the Betty Ford Institute, a prestigious institution for prevention, research and education in addictive disease. He was also a consultant for the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort, a former stockbroker and convict who struggled with addiction. He advised the director Martin Scorsese and the actor Jonah Hill on the details of the Wall Street culture and the lifestyle of the brokers. He also had a cameo role in the film.
He was a respected and admired figure in the medical and academic communities, as well as in the Irish and Irish-American circles. He received many awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate from the National University of Ireland, Dublin, in 2010. He was also a frequent speaker and guest at various events and conferences, where he shared his insights and experiences with passion and humor.
A Death of Peace and Dignity
Garrett O’Connor died peacefully at his home in Aughrim, Co. Wicklow, on September 1, 2015, surrounded by his family and friends. He was 76 years old.
His death was mourned by his wife, Fionnula Flanagan, his sons, Matthew and Turlough O’Connor, his daughter, Mary Lee-Woolf, his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, relatives, friends and colleagues. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in his hometown.
His death was also a loss for the medical and artistic communities, who remembered him as a brilliant and compassionate person. His former friend and colleague, Jordan Belfort, expressed his condolences on Facebook, writing: “I’m deeply saddened by the news of Garrett’s passing. He was a great man and a great friend, who helped me and many others with his wisdom and kindness. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”
His death was also a shock for the Hollywood community, who had worked with him on the movie The Wolf of Wall Street. Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio issued a joint statement, saying: “We are heartbroken by the passing of our friend and colleague Garrett O’Connor. He was a generous and talented man, who helped us bring the story of The Wolf of Wall Street to life. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.”
A Tribute to a Hero and a Friend
Garrett O’Connor’s life was a remarkable one, marked by service and excellence. He was a hero and a friend to many, who admired his skills and personality. He was also a part of one of the most acclaimed movies of the decade, which showcased his story and his contribution.
His legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of his family and friends, who will always remember him as a loving and happy person. He was a renowned psychiatrist who passed away, but his spirit remains.