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Ireland ‘Disturbing case’ - Minister seeks urgent report on homeless man with brain damage on remand in prison for a year

13:50  06 december  2019
13:50  06 december  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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A brain - damaged homeless man is in prison when he should not be, and cannot be discharged because he would be at risk, in what the He said the situation should be addressed at the highest level and directed papers should be served on the Minister for Justice, HSE, the prison service and

It is “staggering” that a brain - damaged homeless man has been on remand for more than a year in Mountjoy Prison ’s high dependency unit despite persistent reports he is of unsound He directed that papers in the case be served on the Minister for Justice, the HSE, the Irish Prison Service and the

Charlie Flanagan © Getty Charlie Flanagan

JUSTICE Minister Charlie Flanagan is seeking an urgent report from the Prison Service on the “disturbing case” of a brain-damaged homeless man who was kept on remand in prison for more than a year.

The High Court heard yesterday that the man spent over a year in Mountjoy’s high dependency unit (HDU) after the HSE cancelled a residential care plan due to “resource issues”.

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According to court reports, the man’s bed linen had not been changed in months and he had “absolutely filthy” feet with hugely overgrown and curled toe nails.

“When I became aware of this disturbing case I sought an urgent report from the Irish Prison Service and I expect to receive that today,” the Justice Minister said today.

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“I have also spoken to the Governor of Mountjoy Prison.

“I intend to discuss the case as a matter of urgency with my Cabinet colleague Simon Harris,” he added.

(stock photo) © sasar (stock photo) The minister said that he is “constrained” in commenting further, “as the matter is subject to Court proceedings”.

The man, aged in his 50s, has been homeless for some time and has a history of mental health issues.

He was charged in November last year after security guards found him in the women’s toilets of a shopping centre in Dublin.

While in a Garda cell, the court heard that he defecated in the cell and was unfit to plead. He was charged the following day and remanded by the district court to the unit in Mountjoy, where he remained.

A Central Mental Hospital plan for the man’s move to a care unit was cancelled by an administrative officer due to “resource issues”.

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According to Minister Turnquest, “The Government’s position on alternative sentencing and prison reform generally, is evident from the Prison Department’s steady movement towards the long overdue reform and modernization of There are 358 persons on remand in the maximum security facility.”

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The man’s solicitor said that the HSE is failing in its statutory duty towards the man whose rights, including to life, are being breached.

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