Two youths back in Oberstown detention centre after escape

One teen still unaccounted for after four originally fled using builders’ ladders

There are 48 boys and one girl housed on the Oberstown campus near Lusk, north Co Dublin.

There are 48 boys and one girl housed on the Oberstown campus near Lusk, north Co Dublin.


Of the four teenagers who escaped from a Dublin youth detention facility last month, just one remains at large after two of the group were returned to the centre over the weekend.

The Irish Times understands one of the youths was returned to the Oberstown facility near Lusk, north Co Dublin, on Saturday while another was returned on Sunday.

The group of four escaped just over two weeks ago, on July 25th, when they managed to break out of an exercise yard.

Aged 15 and 16, the four boys escaped at about 9.30pm on July 25th and made their way to an adjacent construction site. There they used ladders to scale the centre’s perimeter wall.

They had been unlawfully at large ever since.

One of the four fell while trying to get away and was taken back into custody almost immediately, having sustained a number of injuries including one to his ankle. He presented himself to gardaí at nearby Swords.

The remaining teenager is still being sought.

There are 48 boys and one girl housed on the Oberstown campus.

Staff suspended

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs confirmed in the days after the escape it had received notice from Oberstown management that four members of staff had been placed on suspension with pay while a review was undertaken as to the circumstances surrounding the escape.

Management within Oberstown expects the review to be completed by August 14th.

Following a meeting between management and staff at the campus last Friday, a security review group was established.

Comprising management and staff representatives, it will examine the approach that should be taken when dealing with unruly teenagers held at the centre and other issues of concern.

Staff will also undergo further behaviour management training, with the first six-week courses beginning on August 24th.

A senior source familiar with the workings of the detention centre, which seeks to foster a special education setting rather than prison environment, described as “misinformation” reports of large numbers of staff being injured at the north Dublin facility.

The source said it had been reported 31 staff were off work injured. However, total numbers injured since the start of the year had reached 29, including those who had sustained injury during assault, restraint and minor work place accidents.

The total number of staff currently absent due to injury was 10.