Parents ‘angry’ over closure of Drumcondra crèche

Date of move, which will impact 20 staff and over 100 children, put back by two months

The Nest crèche, beside the Skylon Hotel in Drumcondra, Dublin.

The Nest crèche, beside the Skylon Hotel in Drumcondra, Dublin.

 

The parents of more than 100 children attending a north Dublin creche have been given an extra two months to find new childcare places following controversy over its closure.

Parents along with 20 staff were told this week The Nest creche in Drumondra was closing in June to make way for the construction of a new supermarket.

The parents were told on Thursday afternoon the crèche and Montessori has to vacate its premises by June 2nd as Lidl plans to build a store on the site.

However, following discussions between the owners of the property and the creche operators today, the closure has been put back to August.

Annette Nugent, who has two children attending the facility, said parents were stressed and angry over the closure. “People are now frantically trying to source alternative childcare, while the staff are shellshocked,” she said.

Ms Nugent said parents found it strange that a commercial lease could be ended at such short notice and planned to urge The Nest to at least seek a longer deadline before closure.

No one at the crèche was available at present to speak about the closure, a member of staff told The Irish Times.

Lidl said it was not involved in any way in the closure of the creche at such short notice, which it blamed on a legal dispute between the owner of the property and the creche operators.

“I was unaware and concerned to hear about the short notice issued to parents and can fully appreciate the difficult situation they face,” said Lidl property director Alan Barry, adding that he had asked the owner of the site to allow more time to facilitate the creche and parents.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Noeleen Reilly pointed out that planning permission to open a store on the site was recently refused.

“I am very concerned to learn that these families and children are going to be left stranded. There is already a shortage of childcare places in the area and now over 100 children are being left without a home.”

Ms Reilly questioned the urgency behind the closure and said the June 2nd deadline was unrealistic for families seeking to source alternative arrangements.

With about 20 children enrolled in the State-funded ECCE pre-school scheme, she called on Tusla to intervene and ensure the closure is delayed.

Staff are due to meet the crèche owner, Colm Bowers, about their situation next week.