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Reilly told of Oberstown concerns
30 Jul 2015 00:12
Staff members at a youth detention centre in Dublin have claimed there has been an increased number of serious assaults on them.
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The Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children has asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs to respond to staff concerns that also include a lack of training and insufficient garda back-up.
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Earlier this year St Patrick's Institution for young offenders closed its doors, which meant that 16- and 17-year-olds would from then on be detained at Oberstown in north Dublin.
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The committee recently met privately with staff working at the centre and outlined their concerns in a letter sent to Minister for Children James Reilly in recent days.
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The letter, seen by RTÉ News, says 31 staff received injuries in critical incidents since March.
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It says the centre is now detaining boys that are physically bigger, older and exhibit more challenging behaviour.
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Committee members say they believe that specific training may be required to deal with the older boys and were particularly concerned there were no sanctions to deal with violent actions.
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The letter also states: "It's understood gardaí are no longer prepared to provide support and assistance to Oberstown Campus."
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A spokesperson for the minister said this afternoon that Mr Reilly had received the letter.
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He said that a detailed review of the information provided in the letter would now get under way and a response would also be sought from the management at Oberstown.
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