The jurisdiction of the High Court to detain people if they were a danger to themselves or others was extended to vulnerable adults in 2011 with the case of Health Service Executive (HSE) v. O’B . In that case the vulnerable person in question had a long standing history of what was termed “very challenging behaviour” and “extreme violence”.
The current policy and programmatic environment in Ireland is transitional, as Ireland begins preparations for a major shift away from congregate service models towards more individualised and socially inclusive options for lifestyle and other supports for persons with disabilities. Some of that shift, in the form of an ongoing systematic transformation of service models, has already taken place in a relatively small number of Irish agencies.
Leadership and the ability to lead change has never been more important in the disability services sector in Ireland than at this time. The opportunity to make a real and significant contribution to the lives of people is great, but the challenges of a creeping bureaucracy and the rigidity of compliance have never posed such threats to that opportunity.