Saturday 25 November 2017

Pressure is on to publish four Oberstown reports

John Manning

Pressure is growing on the Minister for Children to publish all four reports conducted into operations at Oberstown Children's Detention Campus in Lusk.

Local Sinn Fein Councillor Malachy Quinn has supported calls from his Dublin Fingal colleague Deputy Louise O'Reilly and party spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire to ensure all reports into Oberstown Children's Detention Campus are published in full.

Cllr Quinn said he and his colleagues have concerns about the publications of the reports into the campus following the Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone's reply to a parliamentary question, where it he said it 'appears the Minister is not committed to publishing all reports carried out in recent months'.

Cllr Quinn said; 'It is imperative for all involved that these reports are published in full, allowing us to identify where weaknesses lie, and to ensure the necessary steps have and are being taken to address these issues.

'Oberstown has had four reports conducted in recent months, all of which are completed or at least nearly completed; some of which have been on the desk of management and the Minister for weeks now.'

He said: 'This week my party colleague, Deputy O'Laoghaire received a reply from the Minister which I found to be wholly unsatisfactory. It was ambiguous at best in outlining which reports would and would not see full publication.'

Cllr Quinn said the four reports are into various aspects of how Oberstown is run from operations to security, health and safety and behaviour management.

'From what I gather from the Ministers reply, neither the security review nor the health & safety review will be published, even in part, which raises questions as to why?'

He added: 'The behavioural management review will be published in full and the recommendations of the operations review will be published, although I would like to see that in full also, given the media hype and focus at the time it was commissioned.'

Cllr Quinn said: 'I do not for one minute doubt the Board of Management's ability to implement the recommendations arising from any of the above reports; I do however have many questions as to why this can't be an open and transparent process.

'The excuse of 'legal concerns', while it may be valid in places, is beginning to wear a little thin.

'The publications and transparent implementation can help rebuild faith in Oberstown amongst the local community, as well as the staff of the complex, who are greatly concerned at continuous incidents.'

The local Sinn Féin councillor concluded: 'The Minister needs to outline, at a very minimum, what legal reasons she and the Board of Management have been given for non-publication. 

'Both Deputy O'Reilly, Deputy O'Laoghaire and myself will continue to press for the publication of all reports in regards to Oberstown.'

Fingal Independent

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