*The comments were made in the Family Law Court. 

A JUDGE has stated that he is “terrified” that a 17-year old boy in State care “who can barely boil an egg” will end up in emergency accommodation in a hotel on reaching his 18th birthday next month.

At the Family Law Court in Ennis, Judge Alec Gabbett made his comments when expressing his frustration at efforts by TUSLA to provide after-care and suitable accommodation for the teenage boy after he turns 18 next month.

The boy is currently under the care of TUSLA, the Child and Family Agency (CFA) and Judge Gabbett said that TUSLA is currently spending €6,000 per month on accommodation for the boy where two care workers providing round the clock care for him.

Judge Gabbett said that he wants TUSLA to continue the fund the teenager’s care at his current placement after he turns 18 until suitable alternative accommodation can be found. Judge Gabbett said: “He is very happy there…we can’t throw this boy out”.

In May of last year, Judge Gabbett ordered medical intervention for the teenager after being told at that time he had only had one shower to date in 2023.

Solicitor for TUSLA, Kevin Sherry said that the teenager is now on a Focus Ireland waiting list for accommodation when he turns eighteen.

Mr Sherry said that the TUSLA after-care service are “trying their level best to finalise an after-care plan for the teenager”.

Judge Gabbett said, “This boy hasn’t attended school in three or four years, can barely boil an egg, was barely able to wash himself last January and yet we are proposing that he live independently?”

He said, “The boy’s independent living skills are not there at all”.

Judge Gabbett said that the teenager “is crippled by a severe emotional disorder”. He said, “He is not in education and never will be”.

Judge Gabbett said that the boy’s 18th birthday next month “is coming like an express train” and that he won’t have any jurisdiction over the boy’s care once he turns 18.

Judge Gabbett said, “Once he turns 18 technically he could walk out the door and there is nothing the CFA could do about it”.

He said, “The boy is being sent out into the world to live in a Focus Ireland house with very little support”.

Judge Gabbett said that he was still “in the dark” about the level of support that will be provided to the boy. The judge said the teen “has fallen between the cracks in the system” as he doesn’t meet the HSE’s “very high threshold” of meeting the criteria to be diagnosed with a complex disability in order for the HSE to care for him.

Judge Gabbett remarked that the responsibility lies for the teenager with the CFA as it appears that the HSE “want to run a mile from it – they don’t want to touch it with a barge pole”.

Judge Gabbett adjourned the case to next Thursday. Judge Gabbett said that needs to hear from the CFA “where this boy is going to going to go”.

Related News

Criminal Courts Building
Clare father found guilty of 25 counts of rape and 23 of indecent assault against his daughter
judge courtroom
Judge tells man ex-partner "is not your property" after finding he assaulted her when she refused to have sex
shannon airport departures gate-2
Ryder Cup in Adare brings new life to potential of rail spur for Shannon Airport
fiona levie holly cairns 1
Social Democrats leader confident party can win seats on Clare County Council
Latest News
Asparagus
A Taste of Homestead Cottage's Asparagus & St. Tola cheese tart
Irish Open Lahinch Golf crowds sea
Bumper green fee revenues of €3.19m contribute to record breaking operating profits for Lahinch Golf Club
clare v limerick minor 09-04-24 conor hill 1
Minors make three changes for Tipperary tie in Quilty
judge courtroom
Judge tells man ex-partner "is not your property" after finding he assaulted her when she refused to have sex
shannon airport departures gate-2
Ryder Cup in Adare brings new life to potential of rail spur for Shannon Airport
Premium
judge courtroom
Judge tells man ex-partner "is not your property" after finding he assaulted her when she refused to have sex
shannon airport departures gate-2
Ryder Cup in Adare brings new life to potential of rail spur for Shannon Airport
fiona levie holly cairns 1
Social Democrats leader confident party can win seats on Clare County Council
ennistymon v st breckans 13-04-24 joey rouine cathal morgan 1
Ennistymon & St Joseph's Miltown stay unbeaten in Cusack Cup
Photograph by Eamon Ward
'Remember you are there to serve the people' - 125 years of democracy celebrated in Clare

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top