The aunt of Danny Talbot, who died 13 years ago in state care, said she could never come to terms with his death.
Danny, 19, from Summerhill in north Dublin city centre, overdosed and was found on Berkeley Street on August 4, 2009. His case was also highlighted in the death review report of children in 2010.
The youngster was cared for after the death of his father and by the age of 10 his mother Linda had already died.
Donna Lambe said that despite her nephew’s death, she “still can’t deal with it”.
The young man, she added, had been “stranded from the cradle to the grave” by social workers.
She said: “They brought us to our knees and they really broke us. We couldn’t get any help for Danny while he was in state care.
“When he died we received no calls from the HSE until seven days after his death and it was only then that we were allowed to see him.
“We had gone out to buy him clothes and choose his coffin when we had not seen the child.
“Children in care go through the factory, there is no accountability and every social worker who has let Danny down has never been held accountable, in fact most of them have been promoted.
“He ran away from a foster family after his father died. Danny came to live with me for two years and you are promised the sun, the moon and the stars, nothing has been done, we had no support. At that time, Danny was so broken and traumatized,
“The state is supposed to do a duty of care, they’ve never followed through on anything for him.
“Eventually his life got out of control, we were begging for help.
“We appeared in court 21 times. He was supposed to come see me on a Tuesday and his foster family called. As soon as I answered, I said, “He’s dead, isn’t he?” “. She said yes’.
“The police were the only ones to let us know and we waited all day and got no calls from the HSE.”
She said the death of Sinead O’Connor’s son Shane brought back memories.
She added: ‘I sobbed and felt physically sick with grief and pain for her and her family. I know exactly what it is. You just think, ‘This can’t be real’, especially when they’re in state custody.
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