A 16-year-old boy was found living in Dublin after his parents left the country more than a year ago, a court was told today.
The Irish-born youth, who is still a minor, appeared at the Children's Court today where Judge John O'Connor said it was “very worrying why a 16-year-old is with a 30-year-old in Dublin”.
The boy had refused to name the man and the court heard that they have been staying at a hostel.
The teenager was in court following his arrest for criminal damage to a pair of runners and tracksuit bottoms worth €104 yesterday.
It emerged during his hearing today that he had been born in Ireland and lived here until 2012 when his family left the country to return to their homeland.
His parents remain there but the boy returned to Ireland in recent months and is supported by another man, in his 30s, who also provides him with occasional work, and they are both living in a hostel, the judge heard.
Defence solicitor Gareth Noble told the court that the teen appears to be self sufficient and information he has given about his background has been verified. However, the teenager has yet to produce identity documents, the court was told.
Shane Reynolds, solicitor for the Child and Family Agency, said their department for unaccompanied minors could not become involved as the youth appears to have an Irish passport.
The judge granted bail to the boy and ordered him to appear next week. He was told he must co-operate with social services when they come to visit him at his address and he has to sign on daily at a garda station in Dublin city centre.
“I do not think there is much more I can do but grant bail,” the judge said.
The court also heard that the man who has been helping to support the teenager is to attend the proceeding when they resume next week.