Wednesday 15 August 2018

Incident took place during industrial action at the campus

Garda Nicky Duane told Lorcan Staines BL, prosecuting that the incident began at midday and the last inmate came down from the roof shortly before 11pm that night. There was industrial action on the campus that day and the centre had been made aware of this two days previously.

CCTV footage was played in court which showed the youths ransacking a recreational room and showed the five teenagers on the roof firing missiles. It also showed the roof of one of the units being set alight around 7pm that evening and the teenagers adding numerous items to the blaze to re-fuel it.

At various stages fire fighters used their water cannons on the teenagers in attempt to inhibit them from firing missiles, preventing them from focusing their attention on the blaze itself.

A victim impact report, read into the record, stated that the teenagers gained control of the centre and caused a substantial disturbance. It said they caused 'total destruction to one unit' and their 'challenging and aggressive behaviour' made it difficult for staff to care for them appropriately.

The report indicated that €3 million worth of damage was caused to one unit and €500,000 to others. The centre suffered financial loss of €80,000 to cover staff who had to remain out of work for some time in the aftermath as they were affected by the riot and €75,000 has been spent in providing support to staff.

Gda Duane accepted a suggestion from Tara Burns SC, defending the 17-year-old that three witnesses heard her client say 'stop, don't hit that fella' after the group gave chase to a group of staff.

He accepted a suggestion from Garnet Orange SC, defending Walsh, that he hadn't been involved in 'starting the fire, procuring items for the fire or fuelling the fire'. He has not come to garda attention since his release from Oberstown.

Gda Duane agreed with Michael O'Higgins SC, defending Brennan that he was the first youth to surrender and come down off the roof. He accepted he 'wouldn't be the worst and was a follower rather than a leader'.

He accepted a suggestion from Keith Spencer BL, defending Cronin that he was one of the teenagers freed by the other inmates and also one of the first to surrender.

Gda Duane agreed with Giollíosa Ó Lideadha SC, defending Ginty that his client told gardaí in interview 'I feel shit and bad about doing it'.

Fingal Independent