herald

Monday 24 July 2017

Violence, fire, a toasted sandwich and a call to girlfriend

Fire at Oberstown campus
Fire at Oberstown campus

The Oberstown facility has had several high-profile security lapses in recent months, which have resulted in injuries to staff as well as damage to the building and furniture.

- On June 3, a teenager escaped from Unit 9 of the campus and climbed on to the roof of the building.

The incident occured during a planned four-hour strike by staff.

The stand-off lasted for a number of hours but no injuries were reported.

- On August 15, five teenagers escaped from the facility, including a young criminal with a string of violent offences. All were eventually returned to the campus.

- On September 9, two youths gained access to a kitchen in Unit 5 of the campus, before threatening staff and causing extensive damage to the building and furniture.

The unit was temporarily closed to facilitate refurbishment works.

- On October 31, during planned industrial action, several youths gained access to the roof of a building and set fire to part of the campus. More than €1m worth of damage was caused and the Garda Public Order Unit was called in to end the stand-off.

A member of staff also received serious head injuries after being struck with a weapon.

- On November 2, a member of staff was injured during a late-night attack. During a three-hour stand-off, two youths gained access to the education block after stealing a swipe card from a worker.

The youths armed themselves with a power drill, a Stanley knife, a metal bar and a saw. A member of staff attempted to disarm the two offenders but received serious head injuries.

- Days later, on November 11, a young offender serving time for assaulting and robbing a pensioner was involved in a stand-off.

He was one of a four-man gang who terrorised the OAP during the robbery.

The stand-off ended hours later, after the teenager was given a toasted sandwich and a phone-call to his girlfriend.

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