Government jet may take teen to UK psychiatric facility

The government jet may be called on to transfer an extremely troubled Irish teenager to a specialised secure psychiatric facility in the UK, the High Court has heard.

The court was told the boy, who had been engaged in prostitution and is at risk of self-harm, had spent lengthy periods in both secure and non-secure placements in Ireland.

These placements had not worked out and Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, said the best option for him is that he be placed at the St Andrew’s Healthcare facility in Northampton.

The teen has a history of absconding, alcohol and drug abuse, has been violent towards staff at facilities he had been placed at, and had damaged property.

At yesterday’s sitting of the High Court, Mr Justice Raymond Fullam granted Tusla various orders allowing it transfer the 16-year-old to the Northampton facility. The teenager cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Tim O’Leary, for Tusla, said it was hoped the care and expertise offered by St Andrew’s could do something to help the boy.

Mr O’Leary said once the transfer arrangement is finalised, likely in the coming days, the boy would be taken by helicopter or government jet to St Andrew’s, accompanied by his social worker, medical staff, and gardaí.


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