March 24, 2021
Negotiation and mediation needed between Gardaí and CMH – Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Martin Kenny TD has called for negotiation and mediation between An Garda Siochána and the management of the Central Mental Hospital, following a recent stand off at the site.

Teachta Kenny said:

“The situation where a mentally ill prisoner, who had been on remand for 14 months and detained in unsuitable conditions in Wheatfield Prison, was refused entry to the Central Mental Hospital, is appalling.

“The Gardaí escorting the man on foot of a court order to the facility had little choice but to carry out the order, but there was no room for the man there.

“The incident obviously escalated and as a result, the Gardaí and the man they were escorting waited for entry for three hours, with the man handcuffed in the back of the squad car.

“He was said to be a danger to himself and others and that the situation should not arise.

“While we are all aware of the shortage of places in the CMH, and the imminent transfer to the new unit in Portrane and more places there is to be welcomed, it cannot be allowed to happen that frontline workers, in the course of their duties are forced into a stand-off.

“Where was hospital management while this was taking place? What were the instructions to the Gardaí from their superiors and what has been put in place in order to prevent this situation happening again today or tomorrow?

“I am calling for intervention, negotiation and mediation to prevent such a distressing situation happening again and if temporary measures are needed before the transfer to Portrane, then they should be provided.”

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