Oberstown reported 171 ‘notifiable incidents’ last year

Oberstown reported 171 ‘notifiable incidents’ last year

There was a 44% increase in ‘critical’ and ‘significant’ incidents in the state’s children’s detention centre last year.

Last year there were 171 ‘notifiable incidents’ in Oberstown, in north Dublin.

The details have been released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Latest figures show there are 38 boys and one girl in Oberstown Children Detention Campus.

The centre has three different grades for what it calls ‘notifiable’ incidents.

Grade 1 involves emergencies, such as a death or a potential loss of life.

Grade 2 incidents are critical situations, like a serious injury to a child after an assault.

Grade 3 incidents are less serious but still significant, such as a child failing to return to the centre after home-leave, or an injury that does not require emergency services.

In 2018, there were a total of 119 notifiable incidents, but this jumped to 171 last year.

Of 2019’s incidents, 13 were categorised as grade 2 and 158 were grade 3.

Former Mountjoy prison governor John Lonergan does not think the increase is concerning.

"For over a year, if you take 171 incidents in a detention centre that's dealing with young people all under 18 years of age, many of them with behaviour difficulties, overall I would say that it is a healthy enough situation," he said.

Oberstown says in the past number of years, it has developed a more accurate system for the reporting of all activity.

It says this has improved reporting greatly.

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