| 16.5°C Dublin

‘Cannabis boy’ (14) accused of assault can’t be detained due to lack of spaces in detention centres

A 14-YEAR-OLD cannabis user facing a serious assault allegation dodged a Garda objection to his bail today due to the shortage of spaces available in juvenile detention centres.

The youngster has been charged in connection with an assault on a man, is in his twenties, who suffered head injuries during an attack in January in north Dublin.

Today the Dublin Children's Court heard that there was a garda objection to the teenager remaining on bail. A Garda sergeant said it would be alleged that the boy has continued to get into serious trouble.

The teenager had recently been arrested in connection with the mugging of a woman, said Gda-Sgt Seamus Treacy. He also said that the boy had acted aggressively to him when they met before the court hearing this morning.

He also told Judge John O'Connor that the youngster is hanging around with known criminals.

The sergeant also said a remand in custody would also allow a psychological assessment of the teenager to be carried out “so we know what we are faced with”.

The boy's mother said her son “needs to be sorted out”.

“I feel it could get worse, it's not going to get any better, if he can get help now when he is young it might stop him from re-offending”.

“He is smoking weed”, the mother also said, adding that this interfered with medication the boy is taking for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Judge O'Connor said “I am not making an order that cannot be enforced” and the boy, who has not yet entered a plea, was remanded on continuing bail. He must appear again next week.

Over the past week both Judge O'Connor and Judge Ann Ryan, who sit regularly in Ireland's busiest Children's Court, have criticised the lack of available spaces for youths aged under 17 years at Oberstown Boy's Centre and Trinity House Detention School in north Dublin.

Judge Ryan had said last week that she was informed that a unit of eight beds was available in one of the detention centres but it was not being used due to staffing issues. She has asked Minster for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald to provide an explanation to the juvenile court as to what is being done to resolve the issue.

Online Editors