Many people, including myself, have quoted Einstein because we believe he was really smart and really original. One of his famous quotes is his definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.


When I think about my own life, I’m surprised by my level of ‘insanity’. Like trying to convince people who cannot be convinced – instead of working with people who are open to listen.

Surprisingly, Einstein wasn’t as original as I’d always thought. Cicero (remember Cicero?) said in PhilippicsAny man is liable to err, only a fool persists in error. In other words, if you are failing to achieve the results you are looking for – don’t be a fool and keep trying because you’ll keep failing. Try doing something else or try to achieve what you want to achieve in a different way. Don’t keep doing the same thing expecting different results (which brings us back to Einstein:).


  • Do not keep producing reports
  • Do not keep producing strategy papers
  • Do not keep organising consultation groups
  • Do not keep paying expensive consultants
  • Do not publish draft implementation plans
  • Do not make promises you know you won’t be able to keep

You have done all that. Try something else. Because if you keep doing the same thing expecting different results people will quote you Einstein’s definition of insanity or, if they have a ‘classic’ education rather than a scientific one, Cicero’s definition of a fool. You don’t want to be seen as either.

Pádraig had a visit today from three good friends he hadn’t seen for some time. They sat out in the garden on what must have been one of the best days of the year. His cousin from Australia who had been visiting over several weeks returned home – but promised him to return soon. It was another day when he stood firmly with both feet in life.

Today we received a letter from the HSE that a German Court Order in relation to guardianship is not enforceable in the Irish Courts according to their legal advisors, meaning that at least until the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 comes into force, an act signed by President Higgins in 2015, but not yet signed into law by the Government, the Victorian-era Lunacy Regulation (Ireland) Act 1871 and the Marriage of Lunatics Act 1811 are referred to by case law, leaving decision-making to the health professionals, and giving no rights, for example, to parents of adult children who cannot make informed decisions themselves – in absolute and complete contradiction to the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), also signed but not ratified by Ireland as the one and only EU country (even the EU itself have ratified it). I don’t share that view and would see, if that case ever arose, if that advice was correct – because to me, it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.