Ballymun, Dublin: BREAKING the SILENCE: 1: EXCLUSIVE: State Is Neglecting Hundreds Of Homeless & Vulnerable Children & Young Adults

4 Feb

Having been involved for a number of years with vulnerable children/families, it was with relief that I read your article.  It contained an understanding which is rare, as the majority of people who depend on the media for information fail to capture the truth of the matter. However, what I have read is, without doubt, as close to the core of the critical state childcare/protection is in.  I look forward to meeting with you, and hope we have a positive response from those who have previously been worn down by the system.

With thanks and kind regards,

Norma Roche



A campaigning spirit and an inherent sense of natural justice, together with a steady stream of appeals, protest marches and pickets in addition to seeking and holding meetings with government ministers while also giving media interviews provided the (Breaking The Silence) campaigners with an even more profound insight into the lives of many children and young adults who have in the past and are currently still, being constantly and consistently ignored by the HSE health authorities while in the process of seeking help either for themselves or on behalf of some other child or adult in a current or emerging crisis situation.

Seeking to assert the right of children and adults who are very vulnerable and who exist in situations of serious and considerable social disadvantage and are quite often currently (when presenting to a service provider) in a very serious crisis, which demands (immediate holistic emergency actions) to provide a wide range of services combining as a single unit (of joined-up care service) to cope with the totality of a range of quite serious problems that, such a client (person in crisis) will often present with to service providers like the HSE.

Shocking circumstances are often reported to campaigners by children or young adults (in crisis) by telephone calls, personal contacts or e-mails that have also previously been reported to the (HSE) service providers but which were not responded to (by the service provider), resulting in the shattering of many lives, without anybody being around to pick up the pieces.

Drug abuse and suicide resulted because of the failures of (service providers) in many of these neglected (crisis) cases. Meetings with very many of these children (in crisis) who are depending on emergency (HSE) or hostel accommodation takes place on the Liffey Boardwalk in Dublin on a regular basis.

During these boardwalk meetings, with children (under 18 years of age) most of who, just wished that they had a regular place to live, rather than being dependant on the availability of an emergency bed in a city hostel or B&B (bed and breakfast)

Campaigners witnessed shocking circumstances amongst the boardwalk children, for example; – young children popping a cocktail of tablets (polydrug abuse) or/and their involvement in criminal activities such as, street crime and prostitution.

Many were wanted by the Gardai on foot of bench warrants while, others had been in and out of St Pat’s (Saint Patrick’s Juvenile Institution – Mountjoy Prison Dublin) or had been detained in state run (High Support Units) but now, here they were (still children) on the boardwalk as they aimlessly wandered around the city streets without either care or supervision by any of the state authorities, to make matters even worse, many of (the boardwalk children) now have children of their own in state care.

Parents often discuss (with campaigners) about their regular efforts to make contact with (service provider) professionals wishing to take up with those professionals their critical concerns about a child in crisis, only to reach the stage where they felt that they were being ‘totally dismissed’(by the professionals).

This dismissal, (by the service provider professionals) eventually brought about a feeling of very low self-esteem in the parents and as the time passed-by they felt that is was a waste of their time and efforts trying to get help (from the service providers) anymore. Many other parents never gave up trying, (to get help) but they stated that the response (from service provider professionals) was either too slow or too late.

Persons holding an elected office have an ultimate responsibility to oversee the functioning of statutory bodies like the HSE.

To be properly and respectfully heard by people who are the holders’ offices with professional responsibility for the care and wellbeing and/or authority over emergency situations is vital to vulnerable children and adults clients in crisis.

Breaking The Silence, campaigners say that what is “shattering and shocking” is the numbers of young lives which have in past years and are presently being adversely affected by the ongoing failures of state authorities to properly and adequately respond to the needs of families and children in crisis and pressing emergency situations.

The crisis situations are generally brought about by failed family and social structures, by social disadvantages such as; poor housing, a lack of education and necessary social and industrial skills, delinquency, family breakdown, addiction to and abuse of alcohol and other drugs, homelessness, mental health issues, extreme poverty and so on. Quite often, too, several of these situations may combine and co-exist in the presenting profiles of patients seeking assistance from service providers like the HSE.

Campaigners feel that the vital point that is necessary to expose is that the personal lawful, human and proper rights and needs of vulnerable children and young adults in their time of crisis and need have and are being dismissed by the state’s service providers like the HSE – and that in itself is shocking.

Destroyed, childhood innocence cannot ever be replaced and these vulnerable children and young adults, who are unable to adequately voice their own needs, require your voice as vital a support, because without an advocate their ongoing suffering, trauma and crisis will remain forever shrouded in silence.

Your participation in the (Breaking the Silence) campaign is vital, especially if have had previous personal experience with a lack of response from (service providers like the HSE) who have the responsibility to ensure that your concerns are being heard and adequately acted upon.

For children or young adults in crisis and in need of urgent (State) care at the present time and into the future, your voice can in many ways be the preventative measure that saves them from falling through the gaping cracks in our decayed childcare system.



Breaking the Silence campaigners are holding a public meeting on Saturday February 12th In DAYS HOTEL IN BALLYMUN FROM 2pm to 4pm


(Contact Phone Number: Stella Lamb at: 085 – 166 – 9004)








The social justice campaigner, Fr Peter McVerry, has said the death of 17-year old Daniel McAnaspie was the result of ‘the failure of a dysfunctional and under-resourced childcare system’.

He was speaking at the teenager’s funeral mass at the Church of the Annunciation in Finglas West.

Daniel’s body was found in a field in Co Meath last month, almost three months after he went missing while in State care.

Fr McVerry said a major contributing factor in his death was the neglect of him by the State.

The Minister for Children, Barry Andrews, has offered his sympathies to the family of Daniel McAnaspie.

He also responded to Fr McVerry’s criticism, saying while there were very serious deficits in the health system, reforms were underway.

He said 25 additional social workers were already in place and a further 175 would be provided by the end of the year.

Daniel’s body was found in a drain at Rathfeigh in Co Meath on 13 May. A post mortem revealed he had been stabbed to death.

His parents are dead and he had been in the care of the Health Service Executive since 2003.

Concerns for the 17-year-old’s safety were raised when he failed to return to his accommodation on 26 February.


The number of children that have died while in State care or in contact with social services is likely to rise above the current figure of 188, Minister for Children Barry Andrews indicated today.

Mr Andrews said the total had a “slightly open end”, particularly with regard to young adults, and that calculating a definitive number would be difficult as some young people would have died having left care or the country.

Last month the HSE said 37 young people in care had died, up from an earlier figure of 23. On Friday, the HSE revised the figure upwards by 151 deaths to include those in contact with social services.

The new figure, it said, was based on a wider definition of deaths to include children who were known to social services, or young people aged 18-21 who were in aftercare.

The majority of deaths were due to unnatural causes (102). Most of these young people died as a result of suicide (26), drug overdoses (19), unlawful killings (12), road traffic incidents (18) and other accidents (27). A further 86 deaths were linked to natural causes or health conditions.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Mr Andrews said the authorities had left the category of 18-21 year olds open for a number of weeks to gather further information.

“[The Health Information and Quality Authority] and the HSE agreed there would be a slightly open end, particularly in the area of young adults where there would be difficulty being absolutely definitive because some of them would have left care.”
When questioned if he was satisfied if the 188 figure would rise, Mr Andrews said “essentially, what you have just said is correct”.

Mr Andrews said it was portrayed sometimes that there was a level of carelessness in calculating the numbers.

“This is specifically agreed between Hiqa and the HSE, and Hiqa has done a trawl of the way in which deaths like this are systematically looked at in other countries so there will be certainty.”
Mr Andrews said the Government was on target to achieve the goal set out by the Ryan Report Implementation Group of hiring 200 new social workers.

Some 25 new social workers have so far been recruited, he said, and a further 175 would be in place by the end of the year. (2010).

: campaigners would like to hear from people who have suffered similar experiences from either a personal crisis in their own lives that were ignored by (service providers like the HSE) when help was sought for themselves or when urgent help was requested (from service providers) for a child in crisis and their calls were not responded to (by the service provider/s).


One Response to “Ballymun, Dublin: BREAKING the SILENCE: 1: EXCLUSIVE: State Is Neglecting Hundreds Of Homeless & Vulnerable Children & Young Adults”

  1. irelandssecretcourts 0FebruaryJ2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Joe Burns says;
    ‎68% of boys will become homeless when they are dumped on the streets by their Foster “Parents” and Social Workers when they reach age 18 and the money dries up. (€390/week/child salary + expenses.)

    43% of the Irish prison population have been in “Care”.

    3 out of 5 girls are either pregnant or already have a child when they are dumped on the streets at age 18 by their loving Foster “Parents”, still think that Foster “Care” is a good idea for children?

    80% of “Care” recipients are dysfunctional and will never go on to live “normal” lives.

    Less that 3% of “Care” alumni will ever go on to further education.

    A child is 6 TIMES more likely to die in State “Care”.

    Most Foster “Carers” have never been vetted and have no formal training.

    The number of children being taken into “Care” tripled from 2004 to 2007, they had more than enough social workers to remove children but not enough to visit the 5,643 children currently in their “Care”. To justify this increase, the population of Ireland would have had to increase to 15,000,000 or the number of criminal prosecutions for child abuse would have had to increase threefold, neither of these events occurred. Still think there is a shortage of social workers?

    A child dies on average of every 2 weeks in Ireland, 1 a week goes missing. Does this strike you as a competent system?

    Please help stop the State from abusing children by posing this message to all your friend.

    Breaking the Silence campaigners are holding a public meeting on Saturday February 12th In DAYS HOTEL IN BALLYMUN FROM 2pm to 4pm

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