Irish police handcuffed and pepper sprayed children at a special care unit in Cork, The Irish Times reports.

In July, inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) visited Gleann Alainn, which is run by child and family agency Tulsa.

The center, which is located in the grounds of a psychiatric hospital, admits children at risk of self-harm and suicide. At the time of the inspection, two children were living at the center, which accommodated girls between the ages of 11 and 17.

In a report published last week, the watchdog noted “a large number of significant events” had taken place from January to June this year at the center, including “incidents of violence and aggression.”

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The report said “inspectors found that An Garda Síochána had been called by members of the staff team to manage children’s behaviour which resulted in children being pepper sprayed and or handcuffed.”

Although the inspectors found a “relaxed and calm” atmosphere and “light-hearted and warm interactions” between children and staff during their visit, they determined Tusla’s governance arrangements were inadequate.

The Irish Times reports that Gleann Alainn will close on December 31st and will be repurposed as a residential center.

Gardai (Irish police). Rollingnews.ie