15 February 2022 – From Belfast to Bendigo: The Life and Work of Dr William Graham 1859-1917

VIDEO of Mary Heffernen’s  Talk on 15 February 2022

From Belfast to Bendigo: The life andwork of Dr William Graham 1859-1917

Talk by Mary Heffernen


Mary Heffernan is a doctoral research student at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her special interest is in the history of psychoanalysis in Ireland from 1911-1998. She is a practicing psychotherapist working in London. A graduate of University College Dublin and Middlesex University, she was born in Dublin and has lived in London for the last thirty years. She has published articles in The Journal for Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society and Therapy Today magazine.

DR WILLIAM GRAHAM – Born in the village of Dundrod in 1859, William Graham was Chief Medical Superintendent at the Belfast District Asylum from 1886 until his death in 1917. Graham oversaw the construction of the Villa Colony Asylum at Purdysburn. At a time when Asylum Medical Superintendents traditionally focused their energies on medical and administrative matters in their respective institutions, William Graham had broader academic interests. This led to him being the first person to present a paper on psychoanalytic theories to a professional body in Ireland and he became a charter member of the London Psychoanalytical Society in 1913. As a member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, in 1914 he was part of a remarkable scientific expedition to Australia where the BAAS would hold their annual meeting. This presentation looks at the life and work of William Graham and his contribution to the history of mental health care in the Province.

The talk is from 7.30pm-8.30pm via Zoom. Coleraine Historical Society members will receive an e-mail Zoom invitation from Chair Geoff Warke.  Non members please check the Face Book page – Coleraine Historical Society NI | Facebook for any updates. Details are also available on the new web site Coleraine Historical Society ( The talk is free to all.

Scroll to Top