FORMER Fianna Fáil TD Michael Fitzpatrick was being treated by dancer Michael Flatley’s healer in the months before he died.
He passed away last week after a battle against Motor Neuron Disease, which he was diagnosed with in March last year.
Although he had undergone a drug treatment programme organised by specialists, including Ryan Tubridy’s brother, consultant neurologist Professor Niall Tubridy, he had also been treated by Michael O’Doherty.
He is the ‘energy healer’ Flatley turned to cure a mystery illness that led him to cancel a tour in 2006.
O’Doherty, who runs Plexus Health-Care System in Ennis, Co. Clare, works by rebalancing ‘life energy’ and says that ‘if people believe, have hope and expect they can get better, then they can’.
Just months before former Kildare North TD Mr Fitzpatrick died from Motor Neuron Disease – for which there is no cure – he spoke to the Irish Daily Mail about his treatment with O’Doherty.
‘Michael is a great help to me and I feel a lot better. It’s not a cure but I do feel better in myself,’ he said.
Last night, a family friend added: ‘Michael seemed to do Michael a lot of good.’
After Mr Fitzpatrick spoke about his alternative therapy, O’Doherty called for an overhaul of the way patients are treated in Ireland.
However, the call for a more ‘integrated’ approach to patient care came amid some concern about O’Doherty, who ‘treats’ people with ‘every conceivable problem from back pain to depression, to cancer, asthma and arthritis’.
The disquiet has increased since the death in March last year of Limerick woman, Hilary O’Carroll, who said she had been cured of cancer by O’Doherty.
In 2009 she talked of how she was free of the ovarian cancer she was diagnosed with the previous year.
In a video on O’Doherty’s website, for the launch of his Just Imagine book, she says: ‘In December 2008 I was given between 12 and 18 months to live.
‘When I had the final CT scan in July of this year, seven months to the day of having being diagnosed and the CT scan said there was absolutely no trace whatsoever of cancer.’
Sadly, five months later, she died in Limerick’s Milford hospice.
Professor Senator John Crown last night said: ‘It’s the usual unsubstantiated turgid waffle that relies on testimonials, which mean little or nothing.’
He is infuriated by O’Doherty’s advice on breast checks. O’Doherty said women shouldn’t look for lumps, saying: ‘If you genuinely believe that you have something and fear that something, then you will create it.’
But Professor Crown said: ‘People who tell women that they should not examine their breasts for cancerous lumps, is doing a horrific disservice to women.
‘The evidence is very clear that early diagnosis improves the prospects for cure.’
Bio-energy healing involves therapists moving their hands over a person’s body to re-balance their ‘life force energy within and around the human body’.
When the energy becomes imbalanced, says O’Doherty on his website, it results in disease and sickness.
But he says he ‘scans the energy field’ before conducting a ‘re-balancing’ exercise which entails using ‘a series of specially developed protocols to treat the patient’.
O’Doherty and Plexus HealthCare co-founder Tom Griffin claim to have helped ‘thousands of people all over the world’, some of whom have signed up to be taught how to work as a bio-energy healer, at training sessions which can cost more than €500-a-head.