John McCarthy, the founder of the mental health lobby group Mad Pride, has died aged 61.

Mr McCarthy was an outspoken and colourful advocate for the rights of those touched by mental illness.

He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease two years ago.

According to his son, David, Mr McCarthy died at his home in Montenotte in Cork city this morning.

Mr McCarthy's first Mad Pride Festival celebrating "the normality of madness" took place in Cork in 2008 and was held in Tullamore, Portlaoise and Cork this summer.

He is survived by his wife Liz, children David and Jill, and grandchildren.

A humanist ceremony marking his life will take place at midday in Cork city on Thursday, followed by his burial at Curraghkippane cemetery.

Listen here to the story of one woman's journey stretching almost six decades into the world of institutionalisation and pyschiatric care, right up to the present day - a documentary compiled and narrated by John McCarthy.