Strike at country's only youth detention centre over safety concerns

Strike at country's only youth detention centre over safety concerns

Update 2pm: Management at Oberstown Children Detention Campus say today's industrial action is posing a serious health and safety risk.

150 staff members are involved in the stoppage, over the increased number of assaults on the centre's personnel.

The action will last until 4pm - during which time residents will be confined to their rooms.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone says she's disappointed that "vulnerable young people will be impacted by the action".

Director of the Oberstown Children's Detention Campus is Pat Bergin: "Part of the information that is being put out to us about assault, we have reduced the number of people on assault or injury relief scheme, which was 9% in November 2015 down to just under 2% this month.

"That shows there is a significant reduction in the number of assaults and incidents involving staff and we have done that because we have trained people, we have put procedures in place and we are looking to manage people in a very different way."

Earlier: The Children's Minister says she is disappointed that a strike at the country's only youth detention centre will affect its residents.

Children at the Oberstown Detention Campus in Dublin will have to stay in their rooms until 4pm this afternoon as 150 staff go on strike in a row over safety.

Minister Katherine Zappone says it is regrettable that the youngsters will nott be able to carry out their normal daily activities.

But workers claim that their safety has been compromised during an upgrade to the campus.

Tom Hoare is Assistant General Secretary with IMPACT - one of the unions representing staff: "They're dealing with a different clientele than the one that they would be used to from various areas before.

"This is a different time and a different place, drugs have changed the whole form of any kind of detention, these people are coming from the courts, so yes they are detained.

"But we need a regime that acknowledges not just what they are capable of doing but addresses the things they have done already which is hurt and injure normal men and women just going to do their work."


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