30 September 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The Health Service Executive came in for strong criticism from the bench of Monaghan District Court this week when Judge Sean MacBride bemoaned the apparent lack of residential psychiatric facilities in this country for under 18s.
The court was dealing with the case of a male juvenile accused of an assault offence at Kilnacloy, Monaghan on September 17 this year, and who had to be remanded in custody to St Patrick’s Institution for young offenders from a previous sittings because no alternative suitable facilities were available for him.
When told by social workers at Monday’s sittings of the difficulties they were experiencing in finding a suitable secure placement for the youth where he could obtain the required psychiatric treatment, Judge MacBride expressed the view that it was “a disgrace” that there appeared to be no in-patient facilities for young people under 18 years of age in this country who were psychiatrically ill.
Remarking that the people of this country were very angry at the way money was being spent on the health services, the Judge said it appeared the HSE could not understand that there was a young person at risk because of his volatile and out-of-control behaviour.
“There is nothing the HSE can do about it, or want to do about it, it would appear,” he remarked, stressing that he was not being critical of the social care staff who had worked with the juvenile defendant and who were anxious to assist him, but of those at executive and decision-making level within the HSE.
After adjourning the case for a time to allow attempts to be made to secure an alternative place for the defendant, Judge MacBride remanded him back to St Patrick’s Institution for one week, to appear at Monaghan District Court again on October 3, expressing the hope that in the interim a bed could be made available for him at a facility in Dunboyne in Co Meath.
He also directed the Governor of St Patrick’s to permit HSE social workers to visit the defendant and to contact him by telephone, and also if possible that family relations be permitted to visit him.
The defendant had told the court that he was being kept in 24-hour lock-up in the institution and had received no visitors or phone calls since he was placed there.
“I hope something works out for him,” Judge MacBride stated.
Full story in The Northern Standard

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