Final Oberstown Detention Centre escapee returned to campus

Two inmates escaped the facility on Monday night, while a third was apprehended before leaving the campus

Final Oberstown Detention Centre escapee returned to campus

File photo – The entrance to Oberstown Children's Detention Centre, 29-08-2016. Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

The final youth who escaped from Oberstown Children’s Detention Centre earlier this week has been returned to the campus.

Two inmates escaped the facility on Monday night, while a third was apprehended before leaving the campus.

The first of the two escapees was located by gardaí on Wednesday.

The break-out followed a “serious incident” at the Dublin campus during an event to mark the first anniversary of the establishment of the facility.

The director of the facility, Pat Bergin, reportedly received an injury during the incident in which three young people locked themselves in a staff office before absconding.

In a statement this morning management at the facility confirmed that all three youths had now been located adding that, as the incident is now the subject of a live garda investigation, no further detail on the “particulars of the incident” will be released.

“At this stage, we want to extend our thanks to the Gardaí for all of their work in the safe return of both young people and to all of our staff team at Oberstown in dealing with this,” reads the statement.

Stark reminder

The management said the incident – which occurred on the anniversary of the foundation of the new complex, bringing together three children’s detention schools – provided a “stark reminder of the constant challenges an environment like Oberstown presents us with.”

“While taking time to acknowledge progress we were immediately confronted with the unpredictable nature of work at the Campus,” said the statement. “We will always face challenges and we are committed to our efforts to improve.”

The facility insisted that an “implementation plan” based on recommendations from external reviews and a specialised implementation group is “supporting positive change on a number of fronts.”

Positive change

“This positive change is reflected in the fact that until May 30th we were seven months without any major incident at the campus,” said the statement. “This is progress. It will continue.” 

“Our ambition is to ensure that Oberstown achieves the highest level of safe and appropriate care and adheres to international standards and best practice. This is an ongoing process.”

Oberstown was founded following the amalgamation of three youth detention schools - Trinity House, Oberstown Boys’ School and Oberstown Girls’ School.