Written Answers. - Schools Refurbishment.

Wednesday, 21 April 1999

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 503 No. 4

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  197.  Mrs. Owen  Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the reason a decision was taken to lower the security fence around the Oberstown Boys and Oberstown Girls centres in Lusk, County Dublin, when the community was informed that it would be 18 ft. in height; the person responsible for taking the decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10571/99]

  198.  Mrs. Owen  Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the plans, if any, he has to expand the Oberstown Boys and Oberstown Girls centres in Lusk, County Dublin, to facilitate extra numbers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10572/99]

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  199.  Mrs. Owen  Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   if his Department has taken a decision to rebuild the existing structures at Oberstown Boys and Oberstown Girls centres in Lusk, County Dublin; if the plans will be made available for viewing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10573/99]

  200.  Mrs. Owen  Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the amount which has been budgeted for the construction of an 18 ft. security fence around the Oberstown Boys and Oberstown Girls centres in Lusk, County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10574/99]

  201.  Mrs. Owen  Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the plans, if any, other than the security fence, which are going to be in place to enhance security at the Oberstown Boys and Oberstown Girls centres in Lusk, County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10575/99]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  I propose to take Questions Nos. 197 to 201, inclusive, together.

No final decision has been taken regarding the height of the fence in question. Issues relating to the most appropriate height, location and nature of the fence are currently being reviewed by my Department in the light of recent expert advice and research into the effectiveness of such measures. The objective of the review is to ensure that any actions taken in this area will achieve the desired objective of enhancing security at the facilities and reassuring residents of the area, without resorting to unsightly and excessively intrusive security measures. In addition to the erection of a perimeter security fence, arrangements are being made for the introduction of securing lighting and access control at the entrance to the campus.

A campus development plan for the Lusk campus includes proposals for the phased replacement of the existing three units which comprise Oberstown Boys Centre with four new units and the development of improved security facilities to complement existing provision at Trinity House Reformatory School.

Funding amounting to £4.033 million is available in the current year to facilitate the erection of the security fence at Oberstown and to meet the cost of developments taking place at the Finglas children's centre. The actual cost of the security fence at Oberstown will be known when the tendering process has been completed.

The Deputy will appreciate the need for a degree of confidentiality in relation to measures which are of a security nature and are designed to contain young offenders who have been placed in the custody by the courts. However, within this limitation it is intended that local residents will be kept fully informed of developments. Lusk Community Council is already represented on the board of management of the facilities at Oberstown and as such is kept fully informed on an ongoing basis in relation to developments at the Oberstown campus.


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