News & Media

Oberstown Children Detention Campus publishes 2023 annual report

  • Young people at Oberstown qualify as fitness instructors and baristas across 2023
  • 20 young people receive their Gaisce awards whilst on campus
  • Young people created the Rise Garden, a prize-winning exhibit at Bord Bia Bloom 2023
  • Individualised programmes on campus focus on addressing offending behaviour, promoting healthy habits in relationships, and preventing drug misuse

3 July 2024: Oberstown Children Detention Campus has, today, published its annual report for 2023. The report showcases the year’s achievements, events, and developments.

The annual report highlights significant developments across campus and celebrates the notable achievements of the young people at Oberstown throughout 2023. Key highlights include:

  • Continued growth of Oberstown skills training programmes, including initiatives focused on providing young people with practical skills to increase their prospects of employment in the future.
  • 30 young people achieved a certificate in Fitness Instruction, 20 young people completed a course in manual handling, 12 qualified for a Safe Pass certificate and 24 received training as Baristas.
  • There were 16 different programmes delivered across 2023 covering a wide range of topics including offending behaviour, relationships, life skills, and relapse prevention among others.
  • A total of 20 Gaisce awards were achieved by young people during the year and 4 work placements were secured over 2023.
  • 2023 was the first full year for the implementation of the Oberstown Strategy 2022 – 2026. Across the year the Director, senior management team and staff worked to progress the priorities in the plan with a number of goals undertaken and completed.
  • Visits from international organisations, including the Netherlands Helsinki Committee/Youth Perspectives (YOPE), along with the MOSAIC Penal Reform International project which monitors the safety of children in detention across the EU. These visits validated the view that Oberstown’s rights-based participative approach compares favourably to international best practice.
  • Special education and skills projects funded by the Dormant Accounts Fund. These included:
    • A careers guidance project helping young people in Oberstown to explore skills and interests and link these to education, training and employment opportunities.
    • Participation in the 2023 Bloom Project and the creation of the Rise garden, a project which helped foster important life skills for the young people involved. The garden won a silver gilt award at Bord Bia Bloom 2023.
    • The establishment of an on-campus coffee van business operated partly by young people at Oberstown under the supervision of qualified catering staff, which provides young people with on-campus education, skills development and work experience.

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman T.D. said: “I wholeheartedly welcome the publication of the Oberstown annual report for 2023 which outlines the excellent work taking place on the campus every day. Across 2023 young people were supported to develop through quality care focused on their development, wellbeing, and potential. The staff and management work hard to ensure this is done through a holistic, collaborative and rights-based approach. I thank the Board for their continued commitment throughout 2023.”

Damien Hernon, Oberstown Director, said: “2023 was another busy year at Oberstown as showcased through this annual report. The staff and management continue to work to ensure young people are not only supported when here but also encouraged and developed to live fulfilled lives when they leave campus. I would like to express a sincere thanks to the Board and staff at Oberstown for their dedication and hard work throughout the year.”

Koulla Yiasouma, Chairperson of Oberstown Board of Management, said: “The 2023 annual report illustrates the breadth of work undertaken with and by young people at Oberstown with the aim of supporting them to reach their potential and prevent further offending.  I commend the whole team for their unwavering commitment to the young people sent here by the courts. I want to thank too my fellow Board members for their dedication to the staff and young people at Oberstown.”

The report is available on


For further information, please contact:
Danielle Martin / Aaron Reilly, Drury /
086 776 1592 / 085 244 5630

Additional Information:

About Oberstown

Oberstown is Ireland’s national centre for the detention, care and education of young people under 18 years referred by the courts on detention or remand orders. Established under the Children Act 2001, the Campus provides individualised care to young people through an integrated multi-professional approach that enables young people to address their offending behaviour, support their individual complex needs and return successfully to society.


Oberstown meets the needs of young people in relation to their Care, Education, Health, Offending behaviour and Preparation for leaving – the five elements of CEHOP®, the Oberstown model of care. Applying a rights-based model, set out in our Children’s Rights Policy Framework, young people participate in decision making about their care, their lives and the Campus as a whole.

Victim Liaison Service

Oberstown recognises the harm done to victims and is fully compliant with the EU victims’ directive of 2012 and The Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime Act) 2017, through our victim liaison service.

Board of Management

Oberstown has a Board of Management appointed by the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) under the Children Act 2001, which has responsibility for the overall management of the Campus. Governance and performance arrangements are set out in an Oversight Agreement between DCEDIY and Oberstown, reviewed on an annual basis. Day-to-day responsibility for Oberstown rests with the Director, who under the Act has primary (in loco parentis) responsibility for the young people in Oberstown’s care.