Director of unit for troubled teens to face assault charge

 

THE DIRECTOR of a special care unit for troubled children has been summonsed to appear in court next month to face a charge of assault.

Enda Fulham, who is listed with an address in Artane, works at the Ballydowd care unit – a centre in Palmerstown, Co Dublin, which cares for the needs of young people with serious emotional and behavioural problems.

The Health Services Executive (HSE), which runs the centre, said yesterday it could not comment on any individual personnel matters.

It is understood Ms Fulham is currently on sick leave.

Attempts by The Irish Timesto contact her yesterday failed.

Ms Fulham was charged under section two of the Non Fatal Offences Against The Persons Act 1997. It follows an incident at the centre last year when a firehose was turned on a teenage girl when she refused to get out of bed.

Officers at Lucan Garda station investigated the complaint.

The incident prompted a number of investigations by the (HSE) into care standards at the centre. The 24-bed special care detention unit was opened nine years ago at a cost of €13 million.

Following publication of the reports into the standard of care offered at Ballydowd, the HSE said in October 2009 that “a decision has been taken to close the Ballydowd facility.” According to the HSE, the decision was “based on the general suitability of the building and facilities.”

Special care units are secure residential facilities for young people aged between 12 and 17 who are detained under a High Court order for a short period of time.