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"Disgrace" of teen girl stuck with braces over pay dispute

An orthodontist refused to remove the braces because they weren’t paid.

FIANNA FÁIL’S SPOKESPERSON on Children, Robert Troy, said this afternoon it was a “disgrace” that a teenage girl in the care of the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) was stuck with braces for months, because an orthodontist hadn’t been paid to remove them.

Longford-Westmeath TD Robert Troy said the case, heard by Dublin District Family Court yesterday, “demonstrates the basic dysfunction of the intervention and family support services in this country.”

It’s a disgrace that despite the establishment of the Child and Family Agency, cracks still remain and this case is a prime example of the gaps which still exist within the system.

The Judge in the case said the girl’s braces were “an unnecessary trespass on her person”, and ordered them to be removed within a month, after hearing that they should have been taken out three months ago.

Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

The orthodontist in question refused to go ahead with the procedure when payment did not materialise.

Troy said the case was an example of the “funding and resources issues” plaguing the agency, which was founded in January.

Unfortunately, while there was a €25 million increase on last year’s budget, the figure falls far short of what is needed to allow the agency to operate effectively.

The Child and Family Agency had not responded to queries by TheJournal.ie in time for publication. 

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Dan MacGuill

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