Suicidal boy, 15, remanded while waiting for care

A troubled 15-year-old boy, who has made threats to kill himself, was further remanded in custody, by the Dublin Children’s Court yesterday pending efforts by the Health Service Executive to place him in a suitable care unit.

Judge Patrick McMahon was told by a solicitor from the HSE yesterday that two care units were being investigated as possible placements for the troubled teen. However, there were also a numerous other children on a waiting-list.

Defence solicitor Catherine Ghent said the boy was consenting to being remanded in custody but has become “frustrated".

Judge McMahon told the teenager that was understandable and commended him for his co-operative attitude.

However, in relation to the efforts to find a suitable care unit for the boy, he said “I hope the HSE looks on this as an urgent matter, there is no doubt about it.” The teen was remanded to appear again next week.

The court has been told that the boy’s mother, who was present for the case, was not going to stand bail for him and at present was not willing to take home her son, who has been involved in incidents of self harm.

Earlier the court had heard that if given bail the only accommodation available to the teenager was in emergency health service run hostels for homeless youths.

The teenager had been brought before the Children’s Court on April 2 last following his arrest the previous day for attacking a Garda.

Garda Basil Grimes of Clondalkin station had told the court that: “It is a difficult situation. The accused was living at his home address however his mother left two days ago fearing for her safety. I would worry for his own safety and that of the general public as well.”

The boy’s mother had then moved out of her home because she was afraid of her son.

Defence solicitor Ms Ghent had said that previously the boy had been the subject of High Court childcare proceedings. That once led to him being placed in a detention centre for his own welfare, under the Childcare Act.

Psychiatric assessment had been planned and he has had a history of suicide attempts. He had also been put into a care facility previously but the placement broke down.

In court, on April 2 last the teenager said: “I am not going into any institution. The minute I get in there I’m going to hang myself. I’ll find something to do it with and I’ll have no second thought.” But he later apologised and consented to being remanded in custody."


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