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Friday 23 February 2018

Oberstown lock-down after riot

The Children’s Detention Campus in Oberstown
The Children’s Detention Campus in Oberstown
Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

The controversial Oberstown youth detention centre was reported to be in lock-down again last night after another riot by inmates.

Sources said a group of inmates understood to include those who were part of the riot that led to the fire and destruction of one part of the centre in August were involved in a 'barricade' situation.

It is believed trouble started yesterday afternoon after a young man was taken to hospital suffering from a suspected drugs overdose.

It is understood senior management were in the centre all evening but were unable to prevent serious damage being caused to one of the remaining wings of the centre which is supposed to house up to 90 inmates but is thought to contain only between 30 and 40 now.

The Minister for Children's Affairs, Katherine Zappone has continued to support the management of the centre.

On Monday she announced she was calling in a professor from Liverpool University and the head of the UK's Probation Service to examine the running of the centre. They have been given until December to prepare a report.

Since the €56m centre officially opened in January last year, there have been dozens of serious attacks on staff leading to high levels of sickness leave, though both the Department and the Health and Safety Authority have declined to say how many reports have been made about staff injuries.

In the last attempted break-out in August staff were threatened with golf clubs.

Irish Independent

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