​A hands-off approach not good enough from Zappone

30 August 2016

Last night, following an eight-hour work stoppage by staff at Oberstown youth detention centre, a group of detainees staged a rooftop demonstration, which was followed by the breakout of a significant fire on the premises.

Speaking following the events of last night, Labour spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan said: “It is time for Minister Katherine Zappone to get personally involved in this industrial relations dispute, and to put a stop to unnecessary risks to the health and lives of young people in detention centres.

“It is a testament to those residential care workers who were involved in staging the protest ​that they came off the picket line to deal with the incident. But we cannot allow weeks of further such protests to go ahead when the level of risk has now become abundantly apparent.

“Of course all sides need to work together through the appropriate forums to reach a lasting resolution. But at this stage it is not good enough for Minister Zappone to step back from an escalating situation and merely suggest that all should be fine in the world.

“The risks to all of those at Oberstown from such demonstrations and the setting of fires are simply life-threatening. A hands-off approach from the Minister isn’t good enough anymore.”

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