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Dublin: 11°C Saturday 24 October 2020

Construction to begin on new juvenile detention facility in Oberstown

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald will turn sod on Monday at the site to mark the beginning of construction.

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald.
Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

CONSTRUCTION OF THE new juvenile detention facility in Lusk, Co Dublin, will begin on Monday morning, with Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald due to officially launch the project.

Fitzgerald will turn the sod to mark the start of construction on the Oberstown site – subject to weather of course. Following a design, planning and procurement process managed by the Office of Public Works, a construction contract has now been awarded, allowing for building to start.

The project will mean that all detention services for offenders under the age of 18 will be delivered in Oberstown, meeting the government commitment to end the detention of children in St Patrick’s Institution.

Currently boys under 17 years of age and girls under 18 years of age are detained in the children detention schools in Oberstown in relation to criminal matters. However boys aged 17 years on admission are detained in St Patrick’s Institution.

In July, the Department of Justice announced that St Patrick’s Institution would be closed down, after repeated criticisms by human rights groups for being unconstitutional. This followed a promise last year from the government of €50 million in funding to end the practice of housing juvenile offenders in an adult prison, proposing to develop the existing institution at Oberstown over a two year period.

The ground-breaking event on Monday will also be attended by Brian Hayes TD, Minister of State for Public Service Reform and the Office of Public Works.

Read: Youth held in private hospital room after being turned away from detention centres>

Read: “The culture has not changed” – St Patrick’s Institution finally gets closed down>

Read: Juvenile offenders were sent to their rooms for up to 2 hours a dayJuvenile offenders were sent to their rooms for up to 2 hours a day>

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