Chairman Of Amnesty International UK Resigns After Tweeting Mental Illness Jokes

“When one door closes, another one opens. Jeeze… I hate this OCD.” posted on

1. Ciarnan Helferty, the 26-year-old chairman of human rights organization Amnesty International UK, stepped down after his tweets mocking mental illnesses were criticized on social media, the Telegraph reported.

2. Here are some of those tweets:

I've decided to enter the that BBC TV singing contest for schizophrenics - The Voices.

My mate Jim says i'm schizophrenic, which is weird because I don't have a mate called Jim.

Being popular online is like sitting at the cool table in the canteen... In a mental hospital.

The first rule of OCD club is that there must be a second rule, so we have an even number of rules.

7. Amnesty International fights against the discrimination of mental health patients.

8. Naturally, people did not take too kindly to his tweets.

...@ciarnanhelferty another joke at the expense of people with mental illness. What is your problem?

@ciarnanhelferty Very saddened, shocked & disappointed to read your tweets - as Chair of AIUK I would have expected better! #MH is no joke!

12. Helferty, who has been with AIUK for five years, stepped down as chairman and publicly apologized for his jokes.

Understand the concern and apologies for any offence or embarrassment caused by my poor choice of humour.

13. Sarah O’Grady, the vice-chairman of AIUK responded to his resignation with a letter to the organization’s activists.


Ciarnan’s comments are incongruent with the policy and aims of Amnesty International.

In resigning, Ciarnan has demonstrated personal integrity and responsibility. His actions also emphasise that remarks of this nature are not appropriate for someone leading an organisation at the forefront of the human rights debate.

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