Written Answers. - Release of Patient.

Alan Shatter

Question:

68 Mr. Shatter asked the Minister for Health and Children if an inquiry will be conducted into the circumstances relating to the release from St. Loman's Psychiatric Hospital, Mullingar, County Westmeath, of a 19 year old patient prior to Christmas 1998 who was arrested following the murder of a person (details supplied); if so, if this inquiry will consider the nature of the assessment carried out on this patient and the consideration given to the danger he posed to the local community where he resided; and the nature of the supervision, if any, arranged by the hospital with the health board for this patient prior to his release in order to ensure that any concerns about his posing a risk to the local community could result in an appropriate response. [2056/99]

When it came to my attention earlier this month that the person arrested in connection with the death of a person in Clondra, County Longford, was a former patient of St. Loman's Psychiatric Hospital, I requested the Inspector of Mental Hospitals to establish the facts into the circumstances surrounding his discharge from St. Loman's Hospital and subsequent care.

The inspectorate's inquiries are not yet complete. However, I can inform the Deputy that the person concerned was an in-patient in St. Loman's Hospital in June and July 1997 and was discharged from the hospital on 11 July 1997. I understand that a file is currently being prepared by the Garda Síochána to be forwared to the Director of Public Prosecutions. As the matter is currently the subject of a criminal investigation, I do not intend to comment further on the matter.