Re: Boy Found Dead in Ditch 24th Child to Die in Our (HSE) "Care" in 10 Years
I agree. Time to define or re-define the family in the Constitution.
Originally Posted by C Flower
Daniel McAnaspie, the first child to be killed while in State care, ran not from his family, they say, but from the system that was supposed to look after him. The voices calling for that system to change are growing louder and louder.A white candle in his aunt Ann-Marie’s home in Ballymun, in north Dublin, bears his picture and a few lines from the Snow Patrol song Run:
Jangling noises punctuate the silences and the conversation in this well-kept house: big jewellery in the ears of Daniel’s sisters and his aunts. Bangles on their arms. Keys in their hands, twisted unconsciously, as they tell the story of the short life of their brother and their nephew, who went missing from Blanchardstown, on the northern edge of Dublin, and was found, having been stabbed to death, last weekend in a ditch in Co Meath.
“Rise up, Rise up / As if you have a choice / Even if you cannot hear my voice / I’ll be right beside you, dear.”
Nerves. They jangle so much that at one point his sister Cathriona McAnaspie says quietly that she
It’s not just Daniel’s story she is telling. Most of the McAnaspie family have experience of the care system, and some of them had to care for Daniel themselves under difficult circumstances when the HSE could not find a place for him, which was often.
“can’t do this any more”.
IN THE YEAR BEFORE Daniel died, the family estimate, he was in 20 different care placements. There were many times he had to use the out-of-hours service, waiting at night in Garda stations for a bed to be free. The family began to worry about his welfare even more than usual. Three weeks before he went missing Cathriona and Ann-Marie went to a meeting with the HSE about their younger sister. “Daniel came up in the conversation because that weekend he again had nowhere to go. We said:
. . . I asked for Daniel to be locked up, not somewhere rough but somewhere he could get the help he needed. They said places like that ‘didn’t meet Daniel’s needs’,” says Cathriona, an intelligent and articulate young woman who can’t keep silent on the subject of her brother for long.
‘Something is going to happen to him out on the streets. You need to get him in somewhere permanent; he needs help’
SHE HAS ANOTHER THEORY based on her experiences in the care system.
“We were worried about him. They said he wasn’t wild enough to be locked up, but every placement he had been in had broken down because Daniel would do something – break a window or something. He was never violent to staff, never, but if he wasn’t in trouble then why did they take him out of all those placements? Daniel would have been 18 this year, I think that they were waiting for that day to come so they could say: ‘Daniel, you are 18 now. There you go: you are another street boy. You go on, take drugs, do whatever. Our doors are closed to you now.
’ Basically, that’s what I think was going on.”
The family say that in the months leading up to his death a social worker, with the backing of local gardaí, had been trying to get Daniel into a residential home in Sweden for troubled children.
“I am not dissing good children, but the way I see it the HSE stick with good kids and the bad kids they don’t want to know. They did it with me. They didn’t want to know me . . . I could have been on drugs today. They just let me go out the door instead of saying ‘Look, we can do this’ or ‘We can do that’ or ‘We can make a plan.’ ”
“Daniel really wanted to go – it would have been a new life – but the HSE fought against that in court. They say that in recent times Daniel was calling out for help. That he knew when he turned 18 he would be on his own.
Give me a misty day, pearly gray, silver, silky faced, wide-awake crescent-shaped smile