Child (2) suffered terror on a daily basis at creche, court hears

Emilie Kiely awarded €23,000 in damages over experience at Giraffe Childcare facility

A two-year-old child suffered terror on almost a daily basis for five months while in the care of a creche exposed by an RTÉ documentary in 2013, a judge heard on Wednesday.

Barrister Michael Connellan told Judge Raymond Groarke in the Circuit Civil Court that, when being taken to the Co Dublin creche by her parents, Emilie Kiely used to plead with them: "No creche, no creche."

Mr Connellan, who appeared for Emilie and her parents, John and Caroline Kiely, said Giraffe Childcare's Stepaside facility, off the Enniskerry Road, had offered Emilie a damages settlement of €23,000 over her experiences there.

Counsel told the judge that Emilie, now aged six, suffered personal injury in the form of stress, emotional upset and terror between September 2012 and January 2013 in the toddlers’ room at the creche.


The court heard that over this period Emilie had been under the care of a certain individual who was abusive towards the children in her care.

The court was told that Emilie started showing signs of anxiety and distress and, when collected each evening, was often withdrawn, red-faced, tired and would experience sleep disturbances.

Mr Kiely, in an affidavit to the court, said he and his wife discussed the problem with Emilie’s carer, who reassured both of them that Emilie was receiving an appropriate level of care under her supervision.

A month later, Emilie’s demeanour improved when she was changed to a new room, Mr Kiely added.

RTÉ documentary

Then, in May 2013, Mr Kiely and his wife learned of RTÉ’s programme A Breach of Trust. They viewed it in June.

While their daughter did not feature in any of the video footage, the programme showed the carer they had previously confided in behaving angrily and screaming at children.

Mr Kiely said that they subsequently made alternative arrangements for Emilie’s care and made a claim for compensation on Emilie’s behalf.

Two years ago, Judge James O'Donoghue had rejected a settlement offer of €15,000 from Giraffe Childcare.

Mr Justice Groarke, who was assured there was no serious risk to Emilie’s future psychological development, approved the €23,000 offer.