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Judge attacks HSE legal bill in face of service cuts

A JUDGE has said it's amazing how health bosses claim to have funding shortages but have no problem paying €800 an hour to legal teams to represent it.

Judge Gerard Griffin, pictured, made the comments after hearing that HSE West stopped funding services for a teenager with psychiatric and psychological difficulties.

"It is something that amazes me ... to send in senior counsel, junior counsel and solicitors who charge €800 an hour and then say they have no money," he said.

The judge held a letter signed by HSE area manager Catherine Cunningham, containing just one line acknowledging receipt of correspondence on a recommendation that the youth receive long-term HSE care.

"We wrote to the HSE looking for more services and they wrote back to say there are no more that they can offer due to financing issues," said Kevin Dinneen, defending.

Judge Griffin adjourned the matter to November 15 to give Ms Cunningham an opportunity to attend court.

"Jail is not where this young man should be. He needs psychiatric help and some effort should be made to give him that."

Irish Independent