A solicitor for a man at the centre of a standoff between staff at the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) and Gardaí says a lot of questions have to be answered.
Officers engaged in a three-hour standoff at the gates of the hospital last week, when staff refused to admit a severely mentally ill man following a court order that he be taken there.
They managed to gain entry by reportedly driving through a gate during a shift change.
Ciarán Mulholland told The Hard Shoulder the situation was inhumane and degrading.
"He is deeply unwell and our psychiatric consultants report stating that, stating how unfit he is.
"He appeared before the Circuit Court to deal with what was called a capacity hearing - as his legal representatives we had deep and grave concerns, as did his parents, regarding his ability to instruct his legal team in addition to the medical treatment he would be receiving in custody at the moment."
Mr Mulholland said his client had spent "an extensive period of time" in custody - over 12 months - awaiting a bed at the hospital.
The judge ultimately decided he should be sent to the CMH in Dundrum.
But Mr Mulholland said the hospital was full to capacity when they arrived.
"What happened next is far from satisfactory, and there's a lot of questions there that really do have to be answered no matter what way you dress it up.
"Gardaí obviously had to act upon that order, and convey the ill gentleman at the earliest opportunity to Dundrum.
"Gardaí, once the paperwork was ready, brought the individual to the CMH where the order was served upon the CMH - and the CMH in the first instance was unwilling to accept this gentleman into their custody."
He said this was down to the hospital being full to capacity, and that things were made worse by the pandemic.
"But there was a court order there, there was a court order in place, and that gentleman was to receive the treatment at the earliest opportunity.
"For several hours, there was a standoff - which is far from satisfactory - where there's a sick individual handcuffed in the rear of a Garda vehicle."
He said Gardaí had to wait for a staff changeover to be able to get access to the building and "had ultimately to force entry to gain access".
"It's deplorable, it's unacceptable and its inhumane and degrading.
"I am astounded, I certainly haven't experienced this before and I certainly hope it doesn't repeat itself again."
But he added: "Everyone is trying their best, but we're dealing with a system that has grave flaws at its core.
"There's a human side to this - and I see it on a daily basis - these people are coming back into the criminal justice system, where really if they were to get the right medical treatment, they wouldn't be before the criminal justice system at all".
He said closures of some institutions "over recent generations" saw the prison population soar.
"There's people in prison that really should not be in prison, and we need a compassionate approach.
"We do not require a review or any sort of an investigation - everybody knows that there is an issue here in how we deal with these particular prisoners".