Judgment in psychiatric hospital case next week


JUDGMENT IN a case where a 69-year-old woman claims she is being illegally held in St Patrick's psychiatric hospital will be given next week in the High Court.

Mr Justice Bryan McMahon said there were complex legal issues to be considered but he was conscious of the urgency of the Co Dublin woman's application.

The woman, whose name is being withheld, was out walking with her son on December 8th when gardaí arrested her and took her to St Patrick's, where she was involuntarily admitted.

The court has heard that the woman periodically suffers from mental illness and a religious preoccupation and has been treated in St Patrick's on previous occasions, the last being in 2004.

She had been arrested on foot of an application by her husband to the family doctor, who had issued a recommendation that she be involuntarily committed to the hospital. Her counsel submitted the use of gardaí in her admission rendered it unlawful.

While she had been detained against her will, a mental health tribunal on appeal ruled on December 19th that her admission was lawful, after which a consultant psychiatrist had signed a four-week renewal of admission which ends on January 16th.

Mr Justice McMahon was told the tribunal would sit again on January 8th to consider the validity of the renewal notice.