Call for review of psychiatric 'detention'


SEANAD REPORT:CALLING FOR a debate about the culture surrounding psychiatric care, deputy Seanad leader Dan Boyle (Green) said he had become aware that a woman in her 20s was being detained in a psychiatric facility partly because she was deemed to be in danger of being promiscuous in the outside world.

Mr Boyle said he had visited the facility last weekend, where he had seen a 29-year-old man and a woman aged 26. The man, who had been in the facility for four years, had a four-year-old child whom he seen only once during that period.

The woman had been there for five years and one of the reasons for her continued detention – “and I will define it as detention” – was that she was defined medically by some person as being in danger of being promiscuous if she was to get her liberty.

“When our cultural values inform our system of psychiatric health and care in such a way, I think we need to look at wider aspects than the type of bread and butter arguments that we tend to have in this House,” said Mr Boyle.

Geraldine Feeney (FF) said the story told by Mr Boyle beggared belief. “If I heard him right, a 26-year-old is in a mental institution for five years because someone belonging to her thinks she will be promiscuous if she is out in the world.”

It was utterly unacceptable that taxpayers should be asked to pay for the cost of regulating the banks, Joe O’Toole (Ind) said. Observing that a levy was being imposed on banks in the UK, he wondered how the Minister for Finance could go along with the idea that the cost of the new Central Bank regulatory system would be borne to a significant extent by the Irish taxpayer.