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Thursday 17 October 2019

Judge asks Minster for Children to attend court to explain lack of places for juvenile offenders

A judge has requested the children’s minster Frances Fitzgerald to come to court today to explain the lack of detention places for juvenile offenders.

Last week Judge Ann Ryan asked the minister, or someone from her office, to provide an explanation about the lack of custodial places for children.

According to an RTE report, on 18 separate occasions in the past three weeks the children’s court has been unable to detain children who are convicted of offences because of the lack of spaces available for them.

The remarks were made last week in court by the judge when faced with a teenager on charges for heroin dealing and car theft.

Judge Ryan told the court she had been assured by the minister over two months ago that the matter was being addressed, but that she understood there was still an eight bed unit in a juvenile centre  unused because of staffing issues. 

On another occasion judge John O’Connor has spoken on the matter and said the  current lack of detention places  is making a mockery of the justice system.

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