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Questions hang over Ministers reluctance to publish reports on Oberstown Detention Centre – Ó Laoghaire

5 July, 2017 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has called on Minister Katherine Zappone to ensure all reports into Oberstown are published in full.

Concerns emerged yesterday in the Minister reply to a parliamentary question, where it appears the Minister is not committed to publishing all reports carried out in recent months.

Deputy Ó Laoghaire said;

“It is imperative for all involved that these reports are published in full, allowing us to identify where weaknesses lie, and to ensure the necessary steps have and are being taken to address these issues.

“Oberstown have had 4 reports in recent months, all of which are completed or at least nearly completed; some of which have been on the desk of management and the Minister for weeks now.

“Yesterday, I received a reply from the Minister which I found to be wholly unsatisfactory. It was ambiguous at best in outlining which reports would and would not see full publication.

“The 4 reports were; An independent review of Operations; Security; Health & Safety; and Behavioural Management.

“From what I gather from the Ministers reply, neither the Security review nor the Health & Safety review will be published, even in part, which raises questions as to why?

“The Behavioural Management review will be published in full; and the recommendations of the Operations review will be published, although I would like to see that in full also given the media hype and focus at the time it was commissioned.

“I do not for one minute doubt the Board of Management’s ability to implement the recommendations arising from any of the above reports; I do however have many questions as to why this can’t be an open and transparent process.

“The excuse of ‘legal concerns’, while it may be valid in places, is beginning to wear a little thin.

“The publications and transparent implementation can help rebuild faith in Oberstown.

“The Minister needs to outline, at a very minimum, what legal reasons she and the Board of Management have been given for non-publication.” 

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