Update: Dublin mother calls on HSE to act immediately to care for her autistic son


A Dublin mother whose emotional Facebook appeal has now been viewed over 60,000 times has called on the HSE to act now to provide “nothing more” than the desperate care her son needs, writes Ciara Phelan.

Adrienne Murphy posted a video to Facebook on Tuesday highlighting the “dehumanising” conditions she has to live in with her 14-year-old son who has “violent and psychotic” autistic outbursts.

Adrienne also has another son.

Adrienne pictured with her son in 2013 before his psychotic outbursts began. Adrienne’s sister Geraldine explained that Caoimh pointed to his cheek to let people know he is happy.

In the video, she reveals how she has phoned 999 seven times in two years because she fears for her and her son’s life.

“He beats his head off walls to the point where he draws blood and bruises himself,” she said in the emotional appeal on Facebook.

Adrienne has said she has been fighting hard for her son for the last 15 years and that she has begged the HSE to relieve her from “brutalising” and “dehumanising” living conditions.

When contacted, the HSE said yesterday that they do not comment on individual cases but this afternoon they have released a statement confirming they are aware of the case.

It reads: “The HSE are aware of this case and are working with the family. The HSE will continue to work with the family in relation to home support and other care options.”

meanwhile Adrienne’s video has attracted over 57,000 views online and last night she went to Crumlin Children’s Hospital with her son Caoimh where she announced she is not leaving.

“We have no intention of leaving here until Caoimh is admitted into the residential care place earmarked for him, that is currently lying empty,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

Today, in a statement, Adrienne said the HSE have remained silent on the issue and claims the HSE promised her four months ago that they had secured funding to assist her son and that a suitable service had been found for her son to stay in.

She has since received an email from the HSE stating her son has to undergo many more assessments, something that Adrienne said she cannot do.

In her statement, Adrienne has said the HSE case workers dealing with her son Caoimh said that they could have him sorted into the vacant residential space easily.

Adrienne Murphy holds up a picture of her son showing the injuries sustained during one of his violent outbursts

“So far, so silent from the HSE. In spite of the mounting pressure neither Minister Harris’ office or the HSE has made any contact with me,” she said.

“The HSE case workers dealing with Caoimh could have him sorted into the place for which he has been assessed as eligible, in minutes. But they won’t do it – the last contact from them about the residential place was that many more assessments needed to be made, there was no particular time period for these assessments (when pressed they said possibly sometime in the next few weeks), that he was not guaranteed a place there regardless and then there might be more assessments and other obstacles that needed to be overcome.

“We are demanding that if any further assessments need to be made then they need to take place where Caoimh is safe – either at the residence in question or at Crumlin Children’s Hospital.”

Adrienne went on to say the agency had told her there “might” be vacancies in Kilkenny or Waterford but no offer of an actual place was ever made.

She also revealed that Caoimh is currently attending a special school in Dublin that he enjoys and that she did not want him to be taken out of the school.

“It is also not acceptable that he should be placed somewhere so far from his family and community,” she said.

Adrienne also said that she has been offered a few more hours a week of care workers in her home but she recognises that she “cannot guarantee their safety in her home environment.”

Adrienne has said she is “a mother who wants nothing more than for Caoimh to have the care he desperately needs, and for her family to have the protection they need, which is fully available and funded, but is not being offered.”

You can read and watch Adrienne’s emotional appeal here.