Sunday 11 December 2016

Oberstown detention centre must file report to Government after five children escape

Published 14/08/2016 | 17:28

Katherine Zappone ordered a new board of management and governance reforms at Oberstown detention centre
Katherine Zappone ordered a new board of management and governance reforms at Oberstown detention centre

Management at a detention centre for young people are being ordered to file a report for the Government following the escape of five children.

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The incident occurred at the Oberstown campus near Lusk, north Dublin on Saturday when they absconded for several hours before being caught.

The youths - aged between 12 and 17 - scaled a fence at the facility before fleeing into nearby fields shortly after 6pm
The youths - aged between 12 and 17 - scaled a fence at the facility before fleeing into nearby fields shortly after 6pm

The children - aged between 14 and 18 - armed themselves with bats and golf clubs before scaling fences and running through fields.

Oberstown also saw an escape last year when four teenagers broke out, while a fire was started in part of the complex earlier this year.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone ordered a new board of management and governance reforms in May.

"The minister will be looking for a report on the incident," a spokeswoman said.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs was alerted to the incident after the escape and kept up to date during the search and as the youths were returned to the centre, she added.

Oberstown Director Pat Bergin confirmed that neighbours were informed in the area after the escape.

Mr Bergin told Independent.ie: "I will now be launching an investigation into the matter and this will be sent to the Minister."

There are three detention schools in the campus - Trinity House School, Oberstown Boys School and Oberstown Girls School.

Staff at the detention centre had previously taken industrial action over safety concerns and risks of assault.

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