Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte says Minister Zappone and management at the Oberstown youth detention facility have serious questions to answer in light of the latest incident at the site, where rioting youths set the roof of the building on fire.

The disturbing scenes unfolded as staff at the site staged an eight hour work stoppage over safety and security fears.

Deputy Rabbitte commented, “The situation at Oberstown is completely out of control and the Minister’s response is nowhere near acceptable.  Staff at the centre have been voicing concerns about safety and security at the campus for months but their worries have fallen on deaf ears.  The unrest and violence has escalated over recent months and the current situation is simply untenable.  No staff member should be expected to work in conditions where they can be potentially abused or attacked.

“This is a completely untenable situation and both Minister Zappone and management at Oberstown must explain how such a rapid deterioration has been allowed to occur.  They also need to outline why staff concerns are being glossed over.  I am calling on the Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children to bring Minister Zappone and senior management at Oberstown before the members so that these serious questions can be answered”.