Monday 26 September 2016

Strike planned by Oberstown staff deferred following violent riot at detention centre

Kevin Doyle Group Political Editor

Published 02/09/2016 | 17:28

A fire engine arrives at the gates of the Oberstown facility in north Co Dublin last night. Picture; Caroline Quinn
A fire engine arrives at the gates of the Oberstown facility in north Co Dublin last night. Picture; Caroline Quinn
The blaze lights up the night sky at Oberstown in north Co Dublin. Picture; Caroline Quinn
General view of Gardai at Oberstown Childcare facility. Man O War, North County Dublin. Picture; Caroline Quinn
General view of Gardai at Oberstown Childcare facility. Man O War, North County Dublin. Picture; Caroline Quinn
General view of fire engine at Oberstown Childcare facility. Man O War, North County Dublin. Picture; Caroline Quinn
General view of fire engine at Oberstown Childcare facility. Man O War, North County Dublin. Picture; Caroline Quinn
General view of fire at Oberstown Childcare facility. Man O War, North County Dublin. Picture; Caroline Quinn
Two garda vans arrive after the incident at Oberstown began yesterday afternoon. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Inmates climbed on to the roof at Oberstown earlier in the day. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Industrial action planned by staff at the Oberstown detention centre for next Monday has been deferred in the wake of the violent scenes which erupted earlier this week.

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Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone has visited the centre this afternoon to view the damage caused by a fire on Monday night and meet with workers.

It is believed that around €2m worth of damage was done to the facility by the fire which was started after a riot.

The incident that led to the riot and fire occurred while staff were outside the north Dublin centre protesting about attacks, injuries and fears for their lives.

A fire engine arrives at the gates of the Oberstown facility in north Co Dublin last night. Picture; Caroline Quinn
A fire engine arrives at the gates of the Oberstown facility in north Co Dublin last night. Picture; Caroline Quinn

While the protest was in operation, the young offenders were forced to remain in their rooms being monitored by other staff.

But the offenders used the protest to their advantage when one requested refreshments, and a staff member who brought them was threatened, overpowered at the door and had their keys taken.

The offender was then able to free others who then took over the accommodation block.

A staff member was overpowered and threatened with boiling water.

Another protest was planned for next Monday but a spokesperson for Ms Zappone told Independent.ie is has been deferred to allow for talks.

The minister took a tour of Oberstown this afternoon “to seek firm assurances that the daily routine of young people will not be impacted into the future”.

The blaze lights up the night sky at Oberstown in north Co Dublin. Picture; Caroline Quinn
The blaze lights up the night sky at Oberstown in north Co Dublin. Picture; Caroline Quinn

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