Health cuts begin to show in the courts

There were some distressing scenes in the District Court last week when three care workers and a garda had to carry a disturbed teenage girl kicking and screaming to the dock after she had been goaded by some bystanders outside.

“I’ll kick your f**kin’ head in,” she roared out the door before turning to plead with her restrainers: “She threatened me. She threatened me”.

The girl, who can’t be named because of her age, was attending the court from a three month period of detention in Oberstown girls’ school to answer a charge of larceny, committed on August 15 in Dunnes Stores, Irishtown, when she stole a pensioner’s handbag containing €500.

Garda Nicholas Keogh, in giving evidence of the girl’s arrest to the court, said that her only answer to caution was “shouting and screaming”.

The Oberstown staff accompanying the girl were unable to give Judge David Anderson a comprehensive update on her situation because “she’s not receiving psychiatric treatment”.

“She’s only able to get a psychiatric assessment, not treatment,” said the staff member.

“The psychiatric availability is going in January,” said the Oberstown professional who, at this stage, had calmed the girl down.

The girl, who was legally unrepresented, had Ms Grainne O’Neill appointed.

Judge Anderson adjourned hearing her case until the first court in the new year on January 2 to allow Ms O’Neill familiarise herself with this case.


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