Being 15, neither child nor adult in Ireland.

Yes on a physical practical day to day a 15 year old can look after themselves in so many ways but that does not make them adults.
They are taking steps to being more adult and trying to learn how to have such independence and responsibility but the fact are they are not there yet and with the age gap there their parents are in their late 40s to 50 due to do people starting their families later and with extended family support not being there due to families being smaller or more spread out many of them are with out role models and support and quiet frankly when family fails them or the family need help from the systems in place the 15 year old gets failed.

There are 3 headlines about 3 15 year olds at risk who have been failed by the lack of support structures.

Suicidal boy, 15, remanded while waiting for care

14/05/2008 – 15:04:10
A troubled 15-year-old boy, who has made threats to kill himself, was further remanded in custody, by the Dublin Children’s Court yesterday pending efforts by the Health Service Executive to place him in a suitable care unit.

Judge Patrick McMahon was told by a solicitor from the HSE yesterday that two care units were being investigated as possible placements for the troubled teen. However, there were also a numerous other children on a waiting-list.

Defence solicitor Catherine Ghent said the boy was consenting to being remanded in custody but has become “frustrated”.

Judge McMahon told the teenager that was understandable and commended him for his co-operative attitude.

However, in relation to the efforts to find a suitable care unit for the boy, he said “I hope the HSE looks on this as an urgent matter, there is no doubt about it.” The teen was remanded to appear again next week.

The court has been told that the boy’s mother, who was present for the case, was not going to stand bail for him and at present was not willing to take home her son, who has been involved in incidents of self harm.

Earlier the court had heard that if given bail the only accommodation available to the teenager was in emergency health service run hostels for homeless youths.

HSE told girl, 15, living in ‘appalling’ conditions

14/05/2008 – 14:10:41
A Judge has called on the Health Service Executive to attend the court case of a 15-year-old girl living in “appalling” conditions in a run-down house without heat, electricity or running water.

The Dublin Children’s Court also heard that the girl travels by jumping onto wagons of passing freight trains, putting her life at risk.

The girl, who is originally from Romania, has been charged with failing to comply with a Garda direction under the Public Order Act, to leave the vicinity of the N 7, the Naas road, in Dublin, on a date last month.

The girl has been endangering herself there by begging for money in the middle of three busy lanes of traffic.

Garda Mervin Henson, of Blanchardstown station, who arrested the girl, told Judge Patrick McMahon there were concerns over her and her family’s living conditions.

“They are living in an abandoned house at the side of the train tracks. There’s no running water or electricity.”

“They jump on wagons of freight trains to get into town; someone is going to be killed by doing this.”

Judge McMahon said these were “appalling conditions” and was also told by a probation officer in court that it was a “child welfare matter”.

Garda Henson continued, telling the judge that earlier the girl had been given bail on condition that she did not go to the N7 where she had been arrested.

However this condition has been repeatedly broken nearly costing the girl her life.

“We got ten or eleven calls that that she was begging in the middle of three lanes, cars skidded to avoid her,” he said.

Judge McMahon asked for the HSE to attend the case to outline what assistance it can give in relation to the care of the child, who was accompanied to court today by her mother.

He remanded the girl, who has been residing in north Co Dublin, on bail to appear again later saying his request was “urgent”.

Girl, 15, ‘preyed on pensioners’ in two burglaries

14/05/2008 – 16:15:28
A 15-year-old girl, who preyed on kind pensioners whose homes were burgled after she arrived at their doorsteps pretending to be a charity collector, has been remanded on bail pending sentence.

The girl, who is originally from Romania, but now residing in Co Meath had pleaded guilty to burgling two homes, in Glenageary, Co Dublin, on July last 18. She stole €175 in cash and €30 worth of phone credit from one house and about €200 from the other.

She also admitted theft of a handbag and its contents worth €230, from a house in the same area, which happened in February last year.

Garda Daniel Treacy of Dun Laoghaire Station had said in evidence that she had been let inside the home “on the pretext that she was collecting money for a deaf and dumb foundation. She was given €5 meanwhile another youth, who was with her, went upstairs and took €130 and €30 of phone credit.”

The second burglary that day was carried out in the same fashion.

Garda Sergeant Peter Woods had also outlined how the girl had carried out another burglary where she stole €230 after being let into the home of a couple in their seventies while she was carrying out a bogus charity collection.

The girl had also been convicted of trespassing in a 75-year-od woman’s home with intent to commit an offence, on April 13 2006. She was then aged 13 years.

3 children for that is what they are children at risk,
with parents who can not cope as they are not being given the help needed or are just absent or are leading their children astray at a critical time when they should be encourage to be part of society and form connections to people and have their self confidence and self esteem nurtured and should still be in school.

Yes we have come a long way from how children were made to grow up too soon and sent to work from the age of 9 or younger in Dickensian times but child neglect and child poverty are still with us and it is a lot harder to get
a good foster home for a 15 year old then it is a 5 year old or a 5 month old.

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