The Health Service Executive (HSE) came under fire after it emerged that a security bill at a special care centre for troubled teenagers totalled over €4,000 per week in 2011.
The HSE has confirmed that it spent €240,486 on security at Coovagh House in Limerick in 2011, or over €60,000 per resident. Coovagh closed to allow upgrade works to be carried out in July 2011 and the HSE confirmed yesterday that only four teenagers lived there that year.
Four teens have been placed at Coovagh since it re-opened in June 2012 and there are now three teenagers there.
Coovagh House is part of a network of three special care units for young people, with the others located at Ballydowd in Dublin and Gleann Alainn in Cork.
In response to a Freedom of Information request, the HSE confirmed that security costs at Ballydowd for 2011 totalled €70,000 and security costs at Gleann Alainn amounted to €4,799.
An HSE spokeswoman said: "The security needs of special care centres are constantly under review."