Friday 23 March 2018

I cared for tragic Devlin before death

Woman who took teen into her home praises social worker

Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

THE woman who took troubled teen Devlin Kavanagh into her home in the months before he took his own life has spoken out for the first time.

Mother-of-six Mary Magnapera described the 14-year-old boy who stayed in her council house as a happy and outgoing youngster.

Devlin stayed in her home intermittently in the last year of his life after her daughters found him sleeping in the toilets of a local garage.

Devlin was one of the 196 children who Dr Geoffrey Shannon and Norah Gibbons said were failed by the State in the Report of the Independent Child Death Review Group, released last week. But Mrs Magnapera said her experience with social services differs from the criticisms contained in the report.

She said: "There was a young girl, his social worker, and I'm telling you now . . . she was absolutely brilliant."

But Devlin's mother, Orla Kavanagh, has been highly critical of State services and is looking for a public inquiry into her son's death.

Sunday Independent

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