The HSE has obtained an order from the High Court requiring a mentally ill man to wear a tamper-proof GPS tracking device.
The order was issued in the interests of the man’s safety and well-being by Supreme Court President Ms. Justice Mary Irvine as part of a scheduled guardianship trial.
The man’s mental illness involves delusions and the compulsion to go to remote and remote environments, including a mountain, sometimes to leave his location immediately and stay outside overnight with no food, suitable clothing, or a phone.
The court was told that the tracking device would help Gardaí locate him and bring him back to his community support unit.
Winter is coming
The HSE application, supported by the man’s sister, his closest relative, comes after a decline in his physical health and prolonged escapes to remote settings from which he sometimes returned in very poor physical shape.
Ms. Justice Irvine noted that winter is approaching and the man, who is in his sixties, tends to move further and further away without proper clothing.
The goal of the tracking device and other requests for orders is to reduce the risk to him so that he can continue to live in the community unit, she noted.
She issued the orders, including orders that would allow the man to be admitted, examined, and treated in a psychiatric ward, and allowed gardai to find, arrest, and return the man to the community ward.
Paul Brady BL, for the HSE, said Thursday that the man’s attending physician reported that drugs that reduce his abscessions had to be reduced in recent years because they caused the man to become overly sedated. Attempts to determine his whereabouts using cell phones were also unsuccessful.
A detachable tracker device was attempted earlier this year, but the man removed it during one of his escapes, the lawyer said.
The man agreed to wear a GPS tracking device earlier this month, which is difficult to remove without an unlocking device, but his care team considered that a court order directing him to continue wearing this device would help make this happen to ensure.
The man has no control over his compulsions due to his illness, Brady said.
The man, who has a long history of mental illness and was repeatedly admitted to psychiatric clinics, was never the subject of compulsory admission because he usually complied with the request for voluntary admission, according to the court.
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His court appointed curator ad litem said he hoped to meet with the man next week to properly clarify his views.
The guardian said he understood that the man would prefer not to be tried because he believed that doing so could result in his being transferred to a mental health department. His social worker and care team are trying to keep him in as restrictive an environment as possible, the guardian said.
The guardian said he hoped explanations about guardianship would help the man understand that what is being proposed is now what he is thinking.
In view of the “life-threatening” scenarios caused by long crashes, it is difficult to contradict the requested orders, said the guardian. The man might want to object to the guardianship at some point, he emphasized.