20 May 2022

Kildare judge: "We should be ashamed of ourselves"

State attacked over treatment of children in care

Kildare judge: "We should be ashamed of ourselves"

Naas Courthouse

Ireland as a State should be ashamed of itself over the treatment of children who are reared in care, according to Judge Desmond Zaidan.

He was hearing the case of a 24 year old man who was being prosecuted for making hoax calls to Naas garda station, including one on December 6 2018 at the Church of the Irish Martyrs in Ballycane, Naas.

When the gardaí got there the man, who has serious mental health problems, was in an intoxicated condition and was detained for his own safety.

The court was also told that he uses substances to get relief from anxiety.

The man’s mother is a chronic alcoholic who resides in Cork and is dying from cancer.

He, has a carer from 10am to 10pm daily who accompanied him to court.

However he is left more or less to his own devices outside these hours and lives alone.

His carer told Judge Desmond Zaidan that he had cut himself in the neck recdently and there was concern that he might die of such an injury.

“One day he’ll hit the wrong vein and it will be more serious,” the carer said.

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The court also heard that he has thrown a chair at a healthcare worker.

Sgt Jim Kelly said the defendant is known to the gardaí since 2018 and he acknowledged that he has mental health issues.

The defendant said he has autism and mood disorders caused by depression. He is on medication.

The defendant alleged he had been sexually assaulted previously and he had been in State  care from the age of four.

“I can't put him in jail, jail is no  place for him,” said Judge Zaidan.

“If he doesn’t get help he’ll become a threat to himself and maybe a threat to society,2 he added.

He suggested counselling as an alternative to drugs adding teh State has let him down because it had  the wherewithal to help him and manage his issues.

“The State should have known  he had issues when he was four or 10. As a State we should be ashamed of ourselves.”

He  told the defendant to quit consuming cannabis and other illicit drugs adding “you will not survive jail.”

He adjourned the case to June 16 for a probation report.

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