A judge has recommended that a Killarney man, currently in custody in Cork Prison, be sent to the Central Mental Hospital without delay for treatment.
Billy Burns, of no fixed abode, appeared via video link before Tralee Circuit Court today, where he pleaded guilty to the unauthorised taking of a vehicle and theft of fuel.
The 51-year-old is the son of Killarney woman Miriam Burns, who was murdered in her home in Ardshanavooley last August.
Tralee Circuit Court heard Billy Burns is in solitary confinement in Cork Prison, which his barrister Katie O’Connell claims is a breach of his human rights.
Mr Burns, who’s aged 51 and of no fixed abode, entered guilty pleas today to two charges – that he took possession of a vehicle without permission on October 3rd 2021, and the next day, stole fuel from a Circle K petrol station in Donnybrook, Dublin.
The matter has been put back to next Monday for sentencing, with Mr Burns remanded in custody.
Barrister Katie O’Connell asked that her client get treatment at the Central Mental Hospital; she noted he’d been referred there on September 8th but there hasn’t been a bed available for him.
Consultant psychiatrist, Dr Eugene Morgan, who’s been dealing with the accused at Cork Prison, claims Mr Burns’ condition has deteriorated.
He noted solitary confinement is disastrous for someone like Billy Burns, and told the court he’s alerted the Department of Justice to the case, as the State could be at risk because of human rights’ issues.
The psychiatrist said Mr Burns needs treatment in the Central Mental Hospital, adding a direction from the judge would be very helpful in securing a bed; Chief Nurse Officer at Cork Prison, Edel Lynch agreed.
Dr Morgan added a delay in treatment will mean it’ll take longer for Mr Burns’ condition to improve, and could also reduce his life expectancy.
Judge Elva Duffy said it was a very serious matter, and would strongly recommend Billy Burns be admitted to the Central Mental Hospital.
She hopes by Monday, when Mr Burns’ sentencing comes before Tralee Circuit Court again, that he’ll be getting the help he needs.