Judge hits out at State failure to accommodate 'insane' man after hearing of waiting list for Central Mental Hospital

A judge has hit out at the failure of the State to provide a secure placement for a Co. Clare man declared insane.

Judge hits out at State failure to accommodate 'insane' man after hearing of waiting list for Central Mental Hospital

A judge has hit out at the failure of the State to provide a secure placement for a Co. Clare man declared insane.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Gerald Keys said that the State’s failure to find a placement for Ross Malone (aged 25) “is down to lack of resources and facilities which the State is duty-bound to provide and has failed to do so”.

He said: “This can’t continue - priority must be given and if it is not, there must be some alternative arrangements made, resources obtained somewhere so that this man can be in the correct place.”

In court last month, Mr Malone was found not guilty of arson by a jury by reason of insanity after being directed to do so by Judge Keys.

However, Mr Malone of no fixed abode and who previously lived in Ennis and Kilfenora, has remained in Limerick prison since due to an unavailability of beds at the Central Mental Hospital.

Counsel for Mr Malone, Patrick Whyms BL expressed his frustration with the continuing situation.

Mr Whyms told Judge Keys that "we are reaching a situation where the court will have to demand of the State that someone come here and explains why no place has been provided" for Mr Malone.

Counsel for the State, Lorcan Connolly BL, said that there are currently 48 individuals on a waiting list for a place at the Central Mental Hospital and that Mr Malone is in the top three.

Mr Connolly said that Mr Malone “is a priority case”.

Judge Keys stated that it is not the fault of the medics over the availability of a placement.

He said: “There is someone else higher up the echelon who provides all of the resources. They are duty bound under our Constitution to provide these facilities and they are not doing it.

“It is not good enough to say that there are no resources. All you have to do is read in the newspaper that we have had €7 billion of a windfall on savings in relation to the Exchequer.”

Judge Keys added: “I get no pleasure having to say these things, but there is frustration just building up all the time in relation to resources in the criminal justice system."

Judge Keys further remanded Mr Malone in custody at Limerick prison to reappear before Ennis Circuit Court next Wednesday.

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