– Dispute affecting Garda presence in surrounding communities –

Local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien is calling for the Ministers for Justice and Children to look at the wider implications, and causes, of the dispute at the Oberstown Youth Detention Centre, and accept the Fianna Fáil proposal to re-open Rush Garda station.

“First, and foremost, the situation at Oberstown needs to be resolved in order to protect the safety and welfare of the staff and residents. What happened over the last number of days, where according to reports, one staff member was injured, can never be allowed to happen again.”

“The centre staff are not being listened to, and that just isn’t good enough. They are the ones of the front line, putting their own safety at risk by working in an environment which is clearly dysfunctional.”

“The Minister for Children must engage in a meaningful way with the management, and get to the bottom of safety and security issues,” said the Fianna Fáil TD.

“Oberstown is an issue that affects many local communities in the Lusk, Rush and Balbriggan areas in particular. When disturbances like these happen, Garda resources are being diverted from their work in the rest of the area, leaving gaps that cannot be filled because of the sustained cuts to Garda funding over the past five years.”

“To date, Garda resources have been cut in the Dublin Fingal area by 20% and with  Rush Garda station being closed by the last Fine Gael / Labour government, North Dublin communities need their Gardai working in the communities and not being sucked into disputes at Oberstown,” added O’Brien.

“The Minister needs to re-open Rush Garda Station, commit to increasing Garda resources in North Dublin, and engage meaningfully with the management and staff at Oberstown,” concluded O’Brien.