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Major hunt underway for teenagers in detention centre escape

Gardai are continuing a hunt for three teenagers who escaped from a youth detention centre by climbing over the €56m facility's wall with the help of a ladder.

Detectives are still searching for the youths who absconded from the Oberstown facility in Lusk, north Dublin on Saturday night.

It is understood that they managed to break out of their dormitory wing, make their way on to a roof and acquire ladders that had been used by builders. They then scaled the perimeter wall and left the area.


The escape took place at approximately 9.30pm and gardai at Balbriggan were alerted, leading to a hunt for the young men.

A fourth teenager who also escaped has since handed himself in to officers at Swords garda station after injuring his ankle during the escape.

The youths still on the run are believed to be aged between 15 and 17.

Children's Minister James Reilly has sought a full report on the incident, a spokesman said last night.

It is the latest in a series of break-outs over the past two months at the centre.


In May, four other youths escaped, including one who was described as a 'violent' offender who was imprisoned for an attack on a female garda.

Two weeks earlier two other youths escaped but were later recaptured.

The centre at Oberstown has been under severe pressure in the past three years since it began accepting increasing numbers of juvenile inmates following the closure of the St Patrick's 'juvenile' wing of Mountjoy Prison.

Detention of young offenders at St Patrick's has been phased out following a series of damning reports on overcrowding and violence. Staff at Oberstown have complained about increasing problems involving assaults on staff in recent years.