Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte has raised serious concerns about the levels of violence at the Oberstown youth detention centre. The Garda riot squad was called to the facility again overnight following another disturbance.
Deputy Rabbitte commented, “It is clear that the situation at Oberstown has spiralled out of control. We are seeing violent incidents erupting on an almost weekly basis and this is simply unacceptable. There are serious concerns for the safety of residents and staff, with workers at the centre being threatened on a regular basis.
“I have raised these concerns numerous times with Minister Katherine Zappone, and despite the fact that an independent review of the situation at Oberstown is underway, the safety threat is not diminished. No staff member should be expected to work under these conditions, and residents at the facility should have the right to feel safe and protected. This is simply not the case.
“Progress on these issues has been unacceptably slow. I welcome the independent review, but it cannot be allowed to be a long, drawn-out process. We need to see a coherent plan to deal with the serious violence which is being witnessed on a regular basis at Oberstown addressed.
“I will be visiting the facility later this month and will once again be stressing the urgency of finding a solution to these ongoing issues. The violence that has been perpetrated over recent months cannot be allowed to continue and it is imperative moves are made to address these issues without delay”.