11 October 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard


A controversial ‘high support’ youth detention centre run by the Health and Safety Executive at Castleblayney, which was deemed a “health risk” by the Health Information and Quality Authority for some young offenders placed in care at the premises, is to be closed next month as a centre for the accommodation of inmates, and it is being suggested it could be developed as an all-important primary health care centre for the area.

The Rath na nOg Centre at Bree was the subject of much local controversy since its establishment as a “high support unit” for young people who were taken into care by the HSE.

A number of young offenders at the centre were frequently found to re-offend, and as a result, end up on repeated occasions in the Childrens’ Courts.

Some of those in care at the premises were also allegedly linked to serious criminal damage in the area, including fires which caused in excess of €2 million damage in 2010 and 2011 to the 18th century Hope Castle building and nearby Annex Building at Castleblayney.

Fire damage was also caused on numerous occasion to the interior of the care centre itself, which led to repeated calls for assistance to the Co. Monaghan Fire Service.

The premises were previously a base for the Defence Forces but it was closed as a military centre with the withdrawal of the army from the area.

The HSE confirmed on Tuesday there are plans to close the residential unit by the end of November.
The closure is in line with national policy to decommission high support units and increase the services capacity of special care services.

Ráth na nÓg High Support Unit became operational in late 2002 to provide a high support service for young people aged 12-17 who had experienced, or were presented with, difficulties in previous placements.

There are currently two young persons at …

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