Two more young offenders return to detention facility after escape

More than a fortnight after four young offenders broke out of the country’s only youth detention facility, one teenager has yet to be found.

The youths, aged 15 and 16 respectively, escaped from the Oberstown facility on July 25. One of the detainees injured his ankle during the escape and handed himself into Swords Garda Station the next day.

Two more were returned to the facility at the weekend — one on Saturday and another yesterday. The fourth escapee remains at large.

It is understood the youths broke out of the facility while they were in the exercise yard and made their way to an adjacent building where they used ladders to scale the perimeter wall. Four members of staff have been placed on suspension with pay while a review of the circumstances takes place.

A spokesperson from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs said management and staff of the Oberstown facility agreed on Friday they would set up a staff safety group to “review issues of concern” and to “look at the approach to be taken when managing the behaviour of young people in Oberstown”.

The spokesperson also confirmed staff at the facility will begin a new round of training on August 24.

Currently, there are 48 boys and one girl at the Oberstown facility, which is a place for minors on remand or serving a sentence.

As of Wednesday, 10 staff members were on leave under the facility’s Assault and Injury Leave Scheme.


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