High Court hears 58 actions intended against Hyde and Seek creches

Insurer seeking to cancel policies for four Dublin facilities caring for 220 children

The Hyde & Seek creche on Shaw Street in Dublin city centre. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Hyde & Seek creche on Shaw Street in Dublin city centre. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

The High Court has heard 58 actions are intended to be brought against Hyde and Seek creches which featured in an RTÉ Investigates programme.

Mr Justice David Barniville had earlier this month granted injunctions, pending an arbitration, restraining the insurer of Hyde And Seek Childcare Ltd and Hyde and Seek Glasnevin Ltd cancelling their insurance policies.

Ironshore Europe DAC claims it is entitled to cancel insurance policies for four creches, which care for 220 children and employing 45 people.

It said its move arose from investigations by it arising from matters in the RTÉ programme, broadcast last July, and subsequent media reports.

Ann Davy, a director of both creche companies, has in court documents disputed that Ironshore is entitled to avoid the policies.

Three policies provide cover for three Hyde and Seek creches — at Tolka Road, Pearse Street and Millbourne Avenue, Drumcondra - from January 1st to December 31st, 2019.

Another policy, for a fourth creche at Prospect Avenue, Glasnevin, runs from January 1st to December 20th, 2019. When the matter returned before Mr Justice Barniville on Thursday, he was told the sides had agreed on an arbitrator but, due to issues of the latter’s availability, the arbitration had not yet commenced but was expected to do so shortly.

The judge, saying he hoped the arbitration would get underway soon, adjourned the matter to next week.

Sasha Gayer SC then addressed the judge, saying she is instructed in 58 cases to be brought against the various creches arising from the “exposé”.

While not a party to the proceedings before the judge, she said her clients had taken notice of the proceedings and were aware assurances had been sought that company assets would not be dissipated before the arbitration.

Her clients wished to have a similar assurance and had written to solicitors for the creche companies but had failed to get an undertaking in that regard, she said.

Ms Gayer said, if her side decided to seek injunctions, they considered it would be appropriate to come before the judge.

The judge said he had been dealing with the current proceedings as the arbitration judge.

He said he would say nothing in relation to what counsel had said as her clients were not part of these proceedings and it was up to them to take their own course.

Counsel would not necessarily have to make any injunction application before him but, if such an application was to be brought, he suggested it be first mentioned to him.