Court hears of tragic death of troubled teen found dead in hostel in Dublin

Dublin Children’s Court hears cause of death has yet to be established

Judge John O’Connor: last April he had praised gardaí, the teenager’s lawyer and the HSE for the manner in which they had worked with each other

Judge John O’Connor: last April he had praised gardaí, the teenager’s lawyer and the HSE for the manner in which they had worked with each other

 

A troubled youth, who was battling an alcohol problem, was found dead in his bed in a hostel last weekend, a judge was told yesterday.

Defence solicitor Michelle Finan told the Dublin Children’s Court that the cause of death had yet to be established. The youth, she said, had “passed away; he was found dead in a bed in a hostel”.

She had previously appealed to the Health Service Executive to provide a range of services to help the troubled teenager, who had a case pending for stealing alcoholic drinks.

Judge John O’Connor said he was very sorry to hear about what had happened to the youth, who had recently turned 18, and he offered his condolences to his family. He also added that the lawyer had done a lot of work to get assistance for the teenager.


Stolen beer
Earlier the youth had admitted stealing alcohol and possessing 40 stolen bottles of beer.

Last month, he agreed to reside in emergency hostel accommodation and the HSE was asked to provide him with help when he appeared at Dublin Children’s Court, where he was described by Ms Finan as having four basic needs: “To shower, shave, a meal and a bed.”

She had also asked for the HSE to provide a “wrap-around package” of services to help the teenager.

Hostel accommodation
After getting hostel accommodation, the youth was concerned that while he would have somewhere to sleep he would have nowhere to go during daytime. He needed the period of time ahead of reaching adulthood to “get some sort of stability”, his solicitor had said earlier.

He had admitted stealing a box of beer worth €15 on April 4th last and, in another incident in north Dublin that day, handling 40 stolen bottles of beer.

The youth’s offence had led to a falling out with his mother, who nevertheless continued to come to his court hearings but was not present yesterday when the case and the news of his death was mentioned. The court had heard that the teenager’s offending stemmed from alcohol abuse.


Social services
Judge O’Connor had noted last month that social services had become involved and were about to set up a plan to help the teenager, who had been on bail.

In April, Judge O’Connor had praised gardaí, the teenager’s lawyer and the HSE for the manner in which they had worked with each other, adding that it was “very impressive”.

He said that beforehand, “the situation was that he was homeless, and on the threshold of adulthood and very vulnerable”.

At a previous stage in the case, he had also said while presiding in the Children’s Court he had limited powers in terms of what directions he could make to the health service on welfare grounds.