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Teens Used Stolen Van to Leave Care Facility

Irish Times, 4 October 2002 by Olivia Kelleher

The Southern Health Board (SHB) has confirmed that a security review of a teenage care unit is under way after four young girls stole a van from the centre and drove from Cork to Galway.

The girls, who are aged from 15 to 17, stole the keys of a station wagon at the Gleann Alainn unit in Glanmire, Co Cork, and drove over a hundred miles before being tracked down by gardaí.

The girls were returned to the unit the following day.

The SHB's child care manager Mr Barry Murray said the incident, which occurred on September 22nd last, is being investigated by health board staff.

"It is a serious incident. There were dangers to the public and dangers to the girls and we regret that. But there is a balance we have to try and maintain and all times. Yes it is a secure facility and yes it is a care unit, but we have to try and balance that with normalising the children's lives."