Boy from West Cork town sent to Oberstown after failed lunchtime drugs test

Boy from West Cork town sent to Oberstown after failed lunchtime drugs test

A teenage boy has been sent to the Oberstown Children Detention Campus after he failed a lunchtime drugs test ordered by a judge, having come before the court for continuous breaches of bail conditions.

The 15-year-old, who lives in a West Cork town, had been placed on strict bail conditions including a nightly curfew when he appeared before the district court on November 28 last.

But Judge James McNulty heard that he has been missing from his home on a spate of occasions recently as gardaí checked to see whether he was adhering to those conditions. The judge also heard the boy had gone missing from his home address for four days at one point.

The arresting Garda said he had arrested the youth on foot of a bench warrant and brought him before the court in Skibbereen.

Sgt Paul Kelly told the judge that there had been “continuous” breaches of the curfew which meant the boy should be at home between 9pm and 7am.

The conditions had been relaxed temporarily over Christmas to facilitate a visit to see relatives but Sgt Kelly said when Gardaí checked at his home at 10.40pm on December 30, there was no answer.

Between January 1 and January 5 the teenager left his home for four days, Sgt Kelly said. Then when Gardaí checked at 2.30am on January 5 there was no answer.

On January 7 he did not return home until 5am, and on January 8 he was not there when Gardaí checked at his home at 9.15pm and again at 10.20pm.

Sgt Kelly also said that the teenager was to sign on daily at his local Garda station, but had not done so since New Year’s Eve.

The boy’s solicitor, Ray Hennessy, said he had been aware of the situation following discussions with a probation officer.

Judge McNulty said: “If he is to be released on bail it will be on the basis of random oral drug fluid testing.”

He then ordered a test to be conducted over the next hour, at a Garda station.

The judge was told the boy's mother was not available and he asked the probation officer in court to check on the availability of a remand bed at Oberstown, indicating that the boy was likely to be sent there.

After a break for lunch Sgt Kelly said the boy had tested positive for cannabis.

He said the state was objecting to bail and seeking a remand in custody, while Mr Hennessy said he knew the probation officer was also keen to have the breaches of bail terms addressed.

Judge McNulty said: “In view of the repeated, continuous and continuing breaches of curfew and having regard to the oral fluid drug testing done during lunchtime, this 15-year-old should be remanded to Oberstown.”

The Judge also directed that a psychological assessment be carried out but that it does not need to be ready by the time the teenager next appears before court.

The boy was remanded in custody to appear before Clonakilty District Court on January 21.

The teenager is currently facing a number of charges, including in relation to an assault on another young person.

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