Friday 26 December 2014

Danny was 'failed from cradle to the grave'

Published 17/07/2014 | 02:30

Deborah and Donna Lambe with a picture of their sister Linda and her son Danny Talbot. Arthur Carron
Deborah and Donna Lambe with a picture of their sister Linda and her son Danny Talbot. Arthur Carron
Eight-year-old Danny Talbot's First Holy Communion photograph

RELATIVES of a teenager who was failed for over a decade by health authorities before dying of a drug overdose have said they will not be happy unless someone is held accountable.

The new Child and Family Agency, which took over responsibility for social worker services from the HSE earlier this year, apologised to Danny Talbot's family after a damning report on his death by the independent National Review Panel was published.

Reacting to the findings, his aunt Donna Lamb said her worst suspicions had been confirmed.

"We always suspected he was failed from the cradle to the grave. But we now know this was 100pc accurate from reading the report," she told the Irish Independent.

"We do accept the apology but we want people to be held accountable. We don't see how any real lessons will have been learned unless someone is held accountable."

The Dubliner (19) was in receipt of HSE aftercare services when he died in 2009. The report, which does not name Mr Talbot and gives him the pseudonym Luke, exposes serious shortcoming in mental health and social worker services.

It found the teenager's needs were never fully assessed despite contact with the health services for the majority of his life.

It said there was little appreciation that Mr Talbot was at risk of significant harm for considerable periods while in the care of the State.

There was also an inadequate response to indications Mr Talbot had been abused.

The report detailed how Mr Talbot's school raised concerns with the HSE about possible sexual abuse when he was seven. Mr Talbot was placed in foster care with friends of his extended family after his father died, but there is no evidence this was formally approved.

His foster placement broke down when he was 15.

His behaviour deteriorated and he disclosed he had been abused by his father.

Health officials placed him in a residential unit, but this arrangement broke down because of his behaviour.

He was later placed in an emergency hostel and spent three periods in prison after his 18th birthday.

It was two weeks after his last prison stint that he died.

Irish Independent

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