Mullingar District Court saw the tragic effects of addiction on a family as a mother told how she worried about what a late-night phone call might bring.
“What happens?” asked Judge Neilan. “There are suggestions he might take his own life. The pain is extreme.”
Despite his pleas, Michael Farrell of 14 Belvedere Court was remanded in custody for a week on public order charges and ordered to be placed on suicide watch.
Mr Farrell had entered pleas to charges of threatening behaviour and public intoxication on two dates in April and Mr John Quinn requested an adjournment while he waited for a doctor’s letter on his client’s behalf.
He had been “wandering aimlessly” when the incidents occurred and needed “ongoing treatment” the court heard.
However, it emerged that he is staying in a flat where he appears not to be able to look after himself, is “suffering desperately with depression”, and is finding “no answer” in hospital.
Mr Quinn said he believed Mr Farrell would need inpatient care at Cuan Mhuire. However Judge Neilan asked “if he should go into such a deep depression that he would end his life, who then takes responsibility?”
Mr Farrell’s brother told the court that they were getting calls that he wasn’t feeling well and was feeling suicidal and they were “very concerned”.
“We can’t get any answers and we are very, very concerned about Michael and the state of his mental health.”
In a breaking voice, his mother told the court that “It’s going on too long. We’re getting terrible calls. We don’t know when we go to bed at night or during the night what we’re going to hear”.
She expressed her concern that he “will have to be put somewhere” for his own health and safety.
He had attended for an assessment at St Loman’s on April 24 and was discharged.
Mr Farrell told the court he had been given medication but “the tablets didn’t agree with me”. He returned, but missed a few appointments because “I wasn’t physically able to make my way to the hospital”.
Judge Neilan revoked an order adjourning the case to October 15 and instead placed Mr Farrell in custody at Cloverhill to “maximise his protection” and be psychiatrically assessed.
He said the court must recognise what Mr Quinn called “a cry for help”.
Mr Farrell said he didn’t want to go to Sr Consilio at Cuan Mhuire, though his family had agreed to take him there immediately if he was released.
On hearing that his bail was revoked and he would be going to Cloverhill, the young man said “Please judge, I don’t want to go in there”.
“I think it’s best that you do,” replied Judge Neilan.