Irish economy is recovering at ‘great pace’, Taoiseach tells FF meeting

Martin says report shows young people in south Kerry were ‘failed’ by Camhs service

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has told a meeting of his parliamentary party that the number of people employed in the State is running ahead of all projections. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has told a meeting of his parliamentary party that the number of people employed in the State is running ahead of all projections. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said a report on child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) in Co Kerry was “shocking” and demonstrated a clear failure of clinical and administrative governance.

The Taoiseach made the comments to a meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party on Wednesday. He was responding to the publication on Wednesday morning of a HSE review into allegations that young people who attended mental health services in south Kerry were prescribed inappropriate medication.

The report said that hundreds of children received “risky” treatment from a doctor working in mental health in south Kerry and significant harm was caused to 46 of them.

“It has caused significant harm to a number of young people in the area [in question]. There are fundamental issues here and what has happened is not good enough,” Mr Martin told the meeting of his parliamentarians.

He told the meeting that young people had been failed by the Camhs service there.

Mr Martin also told the meeting that the number of people employed in the State is running ahead of all projections.

Mr Martin told his parliamentary party on Wednesday evening that the economy was recovering at what he described as a “great pace”, giving an upbeat assessment of prospects following the lifting of Covid restrictions.

However, he did say that there were potential obstacles and challenges.

“We recognise the challenges with energy prices and the cost of living. The Government has taken targeted measures in social protection and engagement with social partners will also be important over the coming months,” Mr Martin is said to have told the party’s TDs and Senators.

Housing update

Much of the meeting was taken up by a discussion on housing. Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien gave a briefing on progress in the Housing for All strategy.

“The pipeline of housing supply is very good,” claimed Mr Martin on the back of the briefing, pointing to an increase in the number of apprenticeships in construction.

Several TDs and Senators raised the question of affordability for younger people who wished to own their own home, including Lisa Chambers and James O’Connor.

Mr O’Connor argued for the Central Bank to ease its rules for housing to allow younger people access to needed credit. He told the meeting that young homebuyers found themselves caught in a clinch, as paying huge sums in rent each month impacted badly on their ability to raise deposits to buy homes.

Minister for Education Norma Foley updated the meeting on the process involved in deciding what form this year’s Leaving Certificate will take.

Irish Water was also criticised during the meeting for what one parliamentary party member described as the “extortionate” charges for connecting premises.