Tuesday 12 December 2017

Youth involved in two violent armed robberies offered toasted sandwich to end Oberstown stand-off

Oberstown Children's Detention Centre
Oberstown Children's Detention Centre

Robin Schiller

A young offender involved in two violent armed robberies was offered a toasted sandwich to end a stand-off at Oberstown detention centre.

The incident began when the teenager smashed his way into Unit 6 at the centre, forcing 10 members of staff to barricade themselves in with two couches for their own safety.

It happened on Sunday night after the youth refused a direction from staff.

He broke a bar from a window frame before damaging doors and furniture.


The stand-off ended when management agreed to give him a toasted sandwich and allowed him to call his girlfriend.

Hours later, the same young offender was involved in an- other stand-off.

A source said management ordered members of staff to restrain him, but workers, who are not given protective equipment, refused.

Staff then advised management at Oberstown to call the garda public order unit, but this request was refused, according to sources.

The young thug and two other youths are currently serving time for two violent robberies in the Midlands.

In one robbery, a shopkeeper in his 70s was taken to hospital after receiving a savage beating.

Hours later, the same three youths stabbed a taxi driver, also in his 70s, before making off with a small sum of cash.

The youth involved in Sunday's stand-off was one of two inmates who previously scaled a wall at the centre after assaulting a member of staff.

Anne Rabbitte, Fianna Fail's spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, has previously warned that the situation at the campus is "spiralling out of control" and called for more to be done to ensure the safety of staff.

"I have raised these concerns numerous times with Minister Katherine Zappone. Despite the fact that an independent review of the situation at Oberstown is under way, the safety threat is not diminished," she said.


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