Oberstown annual report

 

Sir, – The piece by Kitty Holland on the Oberstown annual report makes for sad and worrying reading (“Most children at Oberstown were not engaged in education before being sent there”, News, July 23rd). The list of the circumstances impacting on the lives of these children include the loss of a parent or parents for one reason or another, mental health issues, educational disadvantage and addiction, and would indicate that these young citizens have been severely disadvantaged from very early on in their lives. While parental responsibility cannot be overlooked, from a societal perspective, is there not a message here for all of us citizens? The cost of disadvantage and poverty is considerable in our society. I often think that if we as citizens and taxpayers were more aware of the financial cost of poverty and disadvantage, not to mind the human cost, we might be more proactive in demanding our policymakers to be considerably more focused on the eradication of the circumstances that lead to offending behaviour. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL CULLOTY,

Clontarf,

Dublin 3.