Lack of accommodation for troubled youth ‘unacceptable’, family tells court

It had been known for some time the teenager was to be released from a Scottish facility at the end of August, but accommodation and supports had yet to be put in place for him here, court told

Ms Justice O’Malley adjourned the case until tomorrow, when the court is to be updated on what arrangements have been made for the youth

Ms Justice O’Malley adjourned the case until tomorrow, when the court is to be updated on what arrangements have been made for the youth

Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 01:00

The family of “a very troubled” youth due to be released from a secure placement in Scotland later this week has told the High Court that the Child and Family Agency’s failure to arrange suitable accommodation for him is “unacceptable”.

Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley was told yesterday that the youth (17), who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is due to return to Ireland at the end of the week from Scotland, where he has been since June last year.

The court heard that despite the fact it had been known for some time the teenager, who has significant behavioural difficulties, was to be released from the Scottish facility at the end of August, accommodation and supports had yet to be put in place for him in Ireland.

Future care

Senior counsel Colman Fitzgerald, for the teenager’s family, said the matter of the youth’s future care had come before the courts several times since his release date was known.

Senior counsel Tim O’Leary, for the Child and Family Agency, said it was accepted that it was the agency’s responsibility to provide accommodation and supports for the youth.

There had been great difficulties in securing a suitable place for him in Ireland.

Mr O’Leary said the teenager, who was “a very troubled child”, had been at a secure placement in Scotland, where staff had difficulties with him. He had been brought before the Scottish courts but had no convictions there.

Ms Justice O’Malley adjourned the case until tomorrow, when the court is to be updated on what arrangements had been made for the youth.