Dáil Éireann - Volume 494 - 08 October, 1998
Written Answers. - Child Care Services.
Mr. Shatter Mr. Shatter
87. Mr. Shatter asked the Minister for Health and Children the steps, if any, being taken by his Department to ensure the availability of secure accommodation for young people who are out of control in the context of the judgment delivered in the High Court by Mr. Justice Peter Kelly in the proceedings determined at the end of July 1998, involving the Eastern Health Board. [19036/98]
Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Mr. Fahey) Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Mr. Fahey)
Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Mr. Fahey): In order to ensure the availability of secure accommodation for a small  number of very unmanageable children, I have given the Eastern Health Board approval to proceed with the development of the unit at St. Ita's, Portrane, referred to in the judgment delivered by Mr. Justice Peter Kelly. Funding for both this unit and a unit at Ballydowd is included in my Department's capital programme. Building of the Ballydowd unit will commence first. Building of the unit at St. Ita's, Portrane, is expected to commence next year.
In the meantime, I was pleased to make a grant of £300,000 available to the Eastern Health Board to provide additional accommodation as a step down facility. This is part of the development of an appropriate response to the needs of these children but it will also have the effect of freeing up more quickly beds within the two high support units. In the interim, it will enable the Eastern Health Board to put arrangements in place to provide care for a number of children whose cases are before the High Court.
Dáil Éireann 494 Written Answers. Child Care Services.