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1 entry for Mr Justice Kelly


In a series of further High Court actions, the courts identified a gap in Irish childcare legislation in that health boards were adjudged not to have powers of civil detainment. The judgments resulting from these actions led to the establishment of a small number of high support and special care units for children by the Department of Health, in conjunction with the health boards.41 However, the number of children before the High Court continued to grow and, in July 1998, Justice Kelly issued an order to force the Minister for Health to provide sufficient accommodation for the children appearing before him in order to vindicate their constitutional rights. In his conclusion, Mr Justice Kelly stated: It is no exaggeration to characterise what has gone on a scandal. I have had evidence of inter-departmental wrangles over demarcation lines going on for months, seemingly endless delays in drafting and redrafting legislation, policy that appears to be made only to be reversed and a waste of public resources on. For example, going through an entire planning process for the Portrane development only for the Minister to change his mind, thereby necessitating the whole process being gone through again. The addressing of the rights of the young people that I have to deal with appears to be bogged down in a bureaucratic and administrative quagmire. I have come to the conclusion that the response of the Minister to date falls far short of what this Court was reasonably entitled to expect concerning the provision of appropriate facilities for young people with difficulties of the type with which I am dealing.42

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