2 September 2016

There is growing concern that the operation of the juvenile detention centre in Oberstown is in need of increased resources from central Government in order to allow the staff perform their duty in a safe manner.

The impact of the current situation is hitting staff, management and the local community in North County Dublin as serious incidences of violence against staff are leading to among other things; staff injuries and break outs of detainees.

In 2015 there were over 100 serious incidences against 65 staff members, resulting in a total of 3000 working days lost to sick leave. It is a situation which cannot continue.

Recent breakouts are having an impact on the local rural community. I have been contacted by elderly residents who are afraid to answer the door at night.

Myself and a spokesperson for the residents Michael Hoey, met with Pat Bergin and the management of Oberstown in late 2015 to advocate our concerns. I do believe Management are looking for solutions but they need support from the Department. Oberstown has always been a good employer in North County Dublin with a committed and dedicated workforce. It is vital that concerns regarding staff safety are met and I would urge the Minister to take a direct role in this matter and work to provide a solution as soon as possible before further serious injury takes place in this workplace.