Mother in court plea for help as out of control son, 17, leaves family at 'breaking point'

by Gordon Deegan

A mother has told a court that she loves her teenage son but can’t take him back into the family home as he has left the family “at breaking point”.

At the Children’s Court in Ennis, the mother said that the family has been living in two rooms in the house “and we lock everything else away every day” because of the actions of her 17 year old son.

She said: “He drinks. He smokes weed. He steals from us - so we have lived with this and we can longer deal with it. We love our son and have always done so.”

The couple have refused to allow their son back into the family since last week after he was brought before a criminal court for his involvement in an alleged burglary.

The decision by the teen’s parents not to take him back has rendered him homeless resulting in the Child and Family Agency (CFA) seeking an emergency care order for the boy to ensure that he is provided with accommodation.

Judge Patrick Durcan said: “This case should be viewed as a continuing emergency.”

At the Children’s Court, solicitor for the CFA, Kevin Sherry said that it seems that the boy’s parents are saying ‘we are refusing to take this child back and he is your problem now’.

However, the boy’s mother said that since the teen’s last year appearance in court in February in Ennis, “he would disappear for one night, two nights and he wouldn’t go to school at all”.

The woman said that the teen's cycle is that he would go to bed at around 3am each night and after coming home from work the following day “I am greeted with him throwing lego at me and calling me ‘i’m ‘fffing this’ and ‘fffing that’.”

She said: “We have this day in day out and nothing has changed since we were last in court on February 15th and things have escalated at home since."

The woman said: “We are really at breaking point - our families have great sympathy for us, but there is no one willing to take him on. Our brothers and sisters have smaller children and they are not prepared to take our son into their house knowing he could walk out that door at any stage.”

The woman said: “He needs help and we are not professionals. We are just struggling parents. If we take him back today, it will just be the same. He needs to break the cycle.”

In evidence, the teen asked Judge Durcan for “a second chance” and not remand him in custody. He said: “I do have a problem with drink and I need to look into that.”

Solicitor for the boy, Daragh Hassett told the court: “Mr Sherry’s clients should be assured that this is not a case where the boy’s parents are washing their hands of him. This is a case where they cannot have him back into their house. They cannot have him back and Mr Sherry’s clients should realise that. This is a young boy with serious difficulties and he needs help.”

Mr Hassett said that he the teen is happy in his current placement and that the CFA should try to ensure that he can stay there as long as possible.

Insp Tom Kennedy applied that the teen’s bail should be revoked and that he be remanded to Oberstown for breaching undertakings previously given to court and the alleged burglary last week while on bail.

Judge Durcan said that he wouldn't remand the teen to Obserstown and granted the emergency care order to the CFA.

Judge Durcan said: “What this teen needs is as little disruption as possible."

Arguing that the boy shouldn't be moved to a different CFA placement after his stay at the current facility, Judge Durcan said: "The boy doesn’t need to be moved from a locale he knows to a locale he doesn’t know. There is a fragility about his position.”

Due to the 'continuing emergency' nature of the case, Judge Durcan adjourned the case to tomorrow to see how the teen is progressing in his accommodation.



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