Teen held in garda station released due to Oberstown overcrowding

The High Court has ordered the release of a 15-year-old Dublin boy sentenced to 14 months detention at Oberstown Boys Centre, who was kept in a garda station because there was no place available for him at the Oberstown facility.

Today at the High Court Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill ordered the release of the youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, following an application for an inquiry pursuant to Article 40.4 of the Constitution into the lawfulness of the youth's detention.

The Judge made the order after being informed by Counsel for the Garda Commissioner, Mr Micheal O'Higgins BL, that the application for the boy's release was not being challenged.

In an affidavit to the court solicitor John Quinn said on Wednesday June 11 his client was sentenced by Judge Patrick McMahon, in respect of a number of offences including theft, at the Children's Court to a total of 14 months' detention at Oberstown Boys Centre.

Prior to sentence being passed the Court Probation Officer told the court that there were no sentence beds at Oberstown Boys Centre. She the contacted the centre about the judge's orders.

It was confirmed to the probation officer that there were no beds, and that the boy would be refused entry.

Mr Quinn said that on the Wednesday afternoon a request was made to have the case recalled before Judge McMahon to ask him to vary his orders, but the judge refused to do that.

The 15-year-old was brought to Oberstown but was refused entry due to the lack of a place.

At 9.15pm on Wednesday night was brought back before Judge Bridget Reilly. However, she refused an application to vary the order made by Judge McMahon.

As a result Mr Quinn said the 15 year old was brought to Store Street garda station and was placed into Garda custody, and an application was made into the legality of the boy's detention under Article 40.4 of the constitution.

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