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€35k PlayStation and TV bill for offenders like Ana's teen killers

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Oberstown Campus is home to nearly 50 young offenders

Oberstown Campus is home to nearly 50 young offenders

Oberstown Campus is home to nearly 50 young offenders

The State spent more than €35,000 last year on TVs, MP3 players, PlayStations and pay TV subscriptions for young offenders at Oberstown House.

The north Dublin centre is home to just under 50 young people aged between 13 and 18, including Boy A and Boy B, the teenage killers of Ana Kriegel.

Spending included just over €13,000 for televisions, of which €1,400 went on individual TV sets for bedrooms.

Recreational

Just under €11,700 was spent on TVs for the 28 communal areas around the Oberstown Children Detention Campus in Lusk.

A total of €4,739.25 was spent on PlayStations, according to records released under Freedom Of Information (FOI).

A centre spokeswoman said these were "provided in each of the residential units' common areas for the young people to use during recreational activities".

MP3 players are also provided, and €2,499.50 was spent on them in 2019. Just over €15,300 was spent on digital TV packages.

This covered the cost of the Sky Business Ultimate Package, which includes Sky Sports, National Geographic, History and a wide range of other channels.

An Oberstown spokeswoman said it had not spent money on laptops, tablets or iPads, and added that they did not have these available for use by young people. "Oberstown is a children detention campus that operates a care ethos," she said.

"Young people are housed in residential units that aim to emulate a home environment where they can enjoy recreational activities with care staff and their peers as appropriate."

Youths detained at Oberstown also have use of sports facilities including a large halls, snooker and table tennis tables, outdoor pitches and a gym.

Last month, there were 48 young people on remand or serving custodial sentences at the centre.

Most, aside from Ana Kriegel's killers, are detained for less serious offences including burglary, assault and car theft.

Forty-six detainees were boys, with only two girls on the campus.

Four children aged 14 were among those housed there.

The largest group of young offenders were aged 17, making up more than a third of the total.

Figures also showed how often young people were subject to "single separation" over the last three months of last year.

This happens when the person is moved out of their peer group amid concerns relating to their behaviour or where they pose a risk to the safety of other youngsters, staff or themselves.

The data showed that "single separation" was used 105 times in the period between October and December and involved 54 young people.


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