Oberstown escapee taunts gardai on social media

NewsBy Sunday World

A youth who is still on the run having escaped from a juvenile detention centre in Dublin last month has taunted gardai and the centre's staff with a series of online posts.

The 17-year-old was one of four youths who absconded from the Oberstown facility in Lusk, Co Dublin, on July 25.

The group managed to escape the centre with the aid of ladders left on an adjacent site by construction workers.

One youth handed himself in to officers at Swords Garda Station shortly after the escape, having injured his ankle making his getaway. Two other juveniles were returned to the facility two weeks ago.

However, a fourth juvenile - described as the "ringleader" of the runaway group - is still at large almost a month after the escape.

The youth has since posted a number of images on a social networking site taunting both gardai and Oberstown staff.

In one image uploaded last week, the teenager poses while gesturing with his middle finger, with the words 'Straight Outta Oberstown' superimposed onto the picture.

In another image, posted just days after the escape, he is seen socialising with friends, seemingly without a care in the world - despite the fact that gardai are keen to locate his whereabouts and return him to the facility. Four Oberstown staff were subsequently suspended following the incident, with the matter still under review.

A spokesperson for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs said: "Work has been carried out on some security issues that have been identified in the intervening period of time.

"This process is ongoing, with a report to be provided to the Oberstown board and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in due course."

The youth was due to appear at the Dublin Children's Court yesterday, but Garda David McKenna told Judge James Faughnan that the teenager had escaped from the Oberstown facility just over three weeks ago.

He said there have been sightings of the boy at locations in Dublin but "he is evading gardai". Judge Faughnan issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

He faces 11 charges and has been accused of criminal damage, two counts of motor theft, interfering with a vehicle on two dates, two counts of skipping court, possessing vice grips and a metal bar for use in a theft offence, and trespassing.

The incidents are alleged to have occurred in residential areas in north Dublin on dates from February 2 to June 19 last.

He was refused bail and remanded to the Oberstown centre after the latest charges.