Thursday 8 December 2016

Tracey's mother may now sue HSE for negligence

Edel Kennedy

Published 24/04/2010 | 05:00

THE mother of tragic Tracey Fay is considering legal action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) and is currently taking advice on whether to sue for negligence.

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Doreen Fay last night accused the HSE of failing her daughter.

"I want to know what really happened and how they failed her," she told the Irish Independent. "That's why I've gotten a solicitor involved.

"I believe they're still doing it, that they're still failing kids and getting away with it."

She said she blames the HSE for her daughter's death and said the vulnerable teen was "all mucked up" by the time she turned 18.

Ms Fay said she has not read the full report into Tracey's care and subsequent death because she is still traumatised, but said she wants an apology.

Tracey was involved with the social services from the age of just eight months and was placed into care two weeks shy of her 15th birthday.

She had been living with her grandparents after her relationship with her mother -- who was living in England at the time -- had "broken down completely".

Between then and her death at the age of 18 in 2002, she had become involved in prostitution, drink and drugs and had given birth to two children.

In her first six months of care she was moved around nine times and her behaviour seriously deteriorated as a result.

"Tracey became seriously encultured in the out-of-home scene, becoming highly sexualised, becoming involved in prostitution, being pimped, using heavy drugs, drinking, fighting with residents, assaulting and being verbally abusive to staff," the report found.

The HSE also failed to carry out the recommended number of psychiatric evaluations.

Her body was found on January 24, 2002, in a disused coal bunker used by drug addicts off Granby Row, in Dublin's north inner city. She had died alone of a drugs overdose.

It later emerged that just 10 months before her death Tracey had gone to the High Court to seek suitable care and accommodation for herself.

Neglect

Her solicitor, Pol O Murchu, had told the court that Tracey had a troubled history and had experienced physical abuse, neglect and abandonment.

She had also written of her troubles. In a letter a year before her death, Tracey outlined her problems with the services while living at one particular location, saying she didn't get on with some staff and she found it difficult to take orders from these individuals.

The report found her care was "disjointed and fragmented" and there was a "lack of integration".

A number of services provided to the teen were deemed "wholly inadequate".

Even more damning findings were found in the case of David Foley from Ballyfermot.

He had voluntarily sought care from the State at the age of 14 because of a troubled background. But as two community areas bickered over who was responsible for him over several months, he ended up in an emergency care hostel.

There the vulnerable teenager ended up becoming involved in drugs and crime thanks to "tragic systematic failures".

When he found out his girlfriend was pregnant in the summer of 2004, his drug use decreased dramatically for a time.

Wanting to fulfil his role as a responsible father, he started to engage with social workers and attended a residential drug treatment programme for more than a month.

However, the respite was brief and after allegedly getting into a row with another resident, he left the programme.

The baby was eventually taken into care, an action which was said to "devastate" him, and he sought comfort in drugs.

At the age of 17 David was found dead in a flat off Blackhall Place in Dublin's north inner city on September 10, 2005.

Last night David's aunt, Anne Malone, said his parents are still very upset and did not want to comment.

Irish Independent

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