19 Dec 2018, 18.00

The Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs has described Minister Katherine Zappone TD’s decision not to publish the report on the operational review of 2016 disorder in Oberstown as regrettable.

Minister Zappone confirmed at a meeting with the Committee on Tuesday, Dec. 18, that her department would not publish the operational review of the Oberstown Children Detention Campus.

Oberstown in conjunction with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs commissioned the independent review led by UK criminal justice experts into incidents at Oberstown, Ireland’s main facility for youths convicted of serious crimes or awaiting trial on remand. The operational review arose from a United Nations Committee Against Torture report into solitary confinement practices in Oberstown.

The Committee is scheduled to meet the report’s primary authors, Professor Barry Goldson and Professor Nick Hardwick, on Jan. 30.

“It is not possible for the Committee to do its work if its Members are denied sight of essential documentation on the topic at hand,” said Committee Chairman Alan Farrell TD. “The Committee’s oversight function is being hindered in the absence of access to documentation and reports commissioned by the Department and Oberstown.”

Deputy Farrell said the Committee should be given an opportunity to read the report on a confidential basis, so that Members could be informed of the report’s 95 recommendations.

Tuesday’s meeting can be viewed here.

Minister Zappone’s statement to the Committee can be read here.

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