Saturday 22 October 2016

Locals 'living in fear' after three youth escapes from Oberstown

Labour TD Brendan Ryan
Labour TD Brendan Ryan

North Dublin residents have raised concerns over the number of escapes that have taken place at a juvenile detention centre.

People living in the vicinity of the Oberstown facility, which is situated in Lusk, Co Dublin, have become "increasingly worried" over the recent number of juveniles escaping from the campus.

There have been three reported break-outs in the last number of months, with the latest coming on July 25 when four youths managed to abscond.

Three of the teenagers have since been returned, while a fourth still remains at large.

Labour TD Brendan Ryan has since requested a meeting with Patrick Bergin, Director of the Oberstown campus, to discuss safety concerns among local residents.

"I have written to Mr Bergin on behalf of local residents to outline to him the fear that people in the immediate area are now living under.

"Thankfully, nothing has happened as of yet, but the elderly people in the area are living in fear," he told the Herald.

Mr Ryan also stated that the community fully supports the Oberstown facility and recognised the number of jobs it has created in the locality, insisting that his major concern was the security measures regarding the campus.


Local business Country Crest - who make dairy products - has also said it is "incredibly concerned" for the safety of its 250 employees, many of whom live locally and walk or cycle to work.

"In the past, the local community was notified if there was a break-out. Previously, they used a siren - but this system is no longer in place," a spokesperson for the business said.

"We didn't receive any notifications of the recent breakouts."

The Herald previously revealed how a youth who is still at large following the most recent Oberstown escape has posted images on a social networking site taunting gardai and Oberstown staff.

In one image uploaded last week, the teenager poses while gesturing with his middle finger, with the words 'Straight Outta Oberstown' superimposed onto the picture.

In another image he is seen socialising with friends, seemingly without a care in the world - despite the fact that gardai are keen to locate his whereabouts and return him to the facility. Four Oberstown staff were subsequently suspended following the incident, with the matter still under review.

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