herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Fears have been expressed for the safety of a teenage girl who the High Court heard has been sleeping rough in Dublin and possibly engaging in criminal activity.

Fears have been expressed for the safety of a teenage girl who the High Court heard has been sleeping rough in Dublin and possibly engaging in criminal activity.

At a vacation sitting of the High Court Ms Justice Carmel Stewart was told the 16 year old teen, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, has been living "a chaotic lifestyle" and is deemed to be at risk of being harmed.

Following an application by the Child and Family Agency the Judge yesterday agreed to make a number of orders in relation to the teenager. The orders include one allowing Gardai arrest her as well as an order that she be detained at a secure residential care unit for teenage girls.

Seeking the orders barrister Felix McEnroy SC for the Child and Family Agency said the matter was "extremely urgent" as his client feared for the teen's life and safety given her current lifestyle.

She had a history of substance abuse, self harm , suicide attempts, is at risk of being assaulted, was not engaging with social services, could be emotionally unstable and is malnourished, counsel said.

Counsel added Gardai were particularly concerned that she was associating with individuals who were leading her into "a criminal lifestyle".

The girl had been "sleeping rough" and was recently discovered by Gardai staying in a wooden hut located to the rear of a Dublin Garda station.

Counsel said the girl had been at several non secure placements, and had been placed with foster parents. None of these had worked out, and she had gone missing.

Social workers had done their best to help and engage with the teen, counsel added, however the girl could be difficult to deal with.

It was the CFA's case counsel said, that the girl required time at a secure facility which it was hoped would meet her needs, and ensure her physical well being, health and safety.

After making the orders the Judge, who agreed the matter was" very serious," adjourned the matter to a date later this month.

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