A teenage boy was used by older peers to fight other youngsters as part of an illegal fight club, the High Court has heard.
The 16-year-old is currently being detained at a special care unit following an application to the High Court earlier this month by lawyers for the Child and Family Agency (CFA).
The court heard there were serious concerns for the boy's welfare and behaviour which resulted in the CFA seeking orders to have him placed at a secure unit so that he could get the support and services he requires.
Yesterday, Mr Justice Mark Sanfey extended the boy's placement at the special care unit by an additional three months.
David Leahy, counsel for the CFA, said the detention order arose out the teenager's "very disturbing behaviour".
There were serious concerns about the boy's welfare and safety after he was found in the boot of a car, having been placed there by older boys.
Investigations revealed he was being used by these other individuals to fight other boys in what counsel described as being an illegal fight club.
The teen had also reported taking substances including drugs and alcohol.
He is also accused of having committed some serious wrongdoings, including sexually assaulting a young female and having engaged in other inappropriate sexual behaviour.
He was also arrested by gardaí and is charged with hijacking a car from a female social worker and taking it on a joyride.
He is also accused of assault and criminal damage, and has a history of starting fires counsel added.
The judge described the boy's situation as "appalling" and described him as a "very troubled young man".
The judge noted that there were some "green shoots" in terms of the boy's progress, and development since going into the secure care unit.