Local Fianna Fáil Senator, Lorraine Clifford Lee says there needs to be a significant reorganisation of the Oberstown youth detention facility to make it fit for purpose. Her comments follow last night’s serious incident at the centre that resulted in the injury of a number of staff while two young people remain missing from the campus.

The Seanad Spokesperson for Justice, Children & Youth Affairs explained, “The situation at Oberstown has been out of control for some time. In the past year countless violent events have occurred and in some cases Garda units and the Fire Service have had to be called to the facility to deal with serious incidents.

“We were previously assured that the design of the centre would be reassessed in light of aggressive and violent behaviour and that more effort would be made to improve children’s detention in Ireland.

“Despite some progress being achieved and the best efforts of staff at the unit, Minister Zappone’s assertion that the facility is fit for purpose, is clearly incorrect,” she added.

“Minister Zappone must ensure that the recommendations included in an expert review on Oberstown will be acted on without any further delay. An incident of this nature cannot happen again, it is time for appropriate action to be taken”.