Gardaí permitted to release information on ‘mystery girl’

Teen found in Dublin in distressed state has been taken into care of HSE

Mr Justice George Birmingham has granted An Garda Síochána permission to release information about a teenage girl who they have been unable to identify.

Mr Justice George Birmingham has granted An Garda Síochána permission to release information about a teenage girl who they have been unable to identify.

 

The High Court has granted An Garda Síochána permission to release information about a teenage girl who they have been unable to identify.

The girl, believed to be in her mid teens has been in the care of the Heath Services Executive for several weeks, after being found in a distressed state by gardaí in Dublin.

Mr Justice George Birmingham today granted An Garda Síochána an order under Section 31.2 of the 1991 Child Care Act allowing An Garda Síochána, in the excercise of their operational discretion, to release information concerning the teen to the print and broadcast media.

Lawyers for the Garda Commissioner, in seeking the order, yesterday told the Court the investigation had “hit a brick wall. Gardaí had reached “a deadlock” in their efforts to identify the girl and Every possible avenue had been exhausted.

Despite their intensive efforts gardaí were unable to establish who the girl is, where she comes from or who her family are. As a result they want to release information, including a picture, to the media, which could help identify her.

Gardaí believe that a criminal offence has been committed against the girl, who is currently receiving treatment and is in the care of the HSE.

The girl’s court appointed guardian supported the Garda application. Felix McEnroy SC on behalf of the guardian said it was in the girls best interests that steps be taken to identify her.

The HSE was against a picture of the girl being published. Its lawyers said professionals who have been working with her believe publication could have “a disturbing effect on her.”

The matter had been adjourned to Monday but afternoon the parties returned before the court this afternoon where Mr Justice George Birmingham agreed to make an order.

The Judge had stated that he was minded to grant the order allowing a picture of the girl to be published. However he held off making a final decision to give a few more days to allow the girl to stabilise.

Today, the Judge said he was now satisfied to make the order sought by the Gardai.

The Judge adjourned the case, including proceedings brought on the teens behalf aimed at preventing the HSE from placing her at a non secure facility.

In that action which is against the HSE, Ireland and the Attorney General, the girl’s legally appointed guardian has argued before the court that given her needs she should be placed at a secure facility.