Settlements of up to €75,000 made in Links crèche action

Payments over alleged mistreatment to be made without admission of liability

Twenty two children who featured in a RTÉ documentary about alleged mistreatment of children at a Dublin crèche have secured settlements of between €40,000 and €75,000 each in settlement of their High Court actions.

Twenty two children who featured in a RTÉ documentary about alleged mistreatment of children at a Dublin crèche have secured settlements of between €40,000 and €75,000 each in settlement of their High Court actions.

 

Twenty two children who featured in a RTÉ documentary about alleged mistreatment of children at a Dublin crèche have secured settlements of between €40,000 and €75,000 each in settlement of their High Court actions.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross on Friday approved the individual settlements, all made without admission of liability.

The judge was told the children’s parents had separately sued the crèche for breach of contract, nervous shock and distress and their cases had also been settled on undisclosed terms.

A number of parents were in court when senior counsel read out the cases, details of the alleged mistreatment and the amounts of the settlements in the children’s cases.

The 22 children had sued Links crèche Southside Ltd, Kinsealy, Dublin; Links crèche and Montessorri Ltd, with offices at Rathmines, Dublin; and the crèche owners Deirdre and Padraig Kelly, Myra Manor, Kinsealy, Dublin as a result of alleged mistreatment at the childcare facility at Links, Abington, Malahide.

The Malahide crèche was subject of a documentary by the RTÉ Investigations Unit which was broadcast in May 2013.

The defendants had filed a full defence in which they denied that the incidents recorded in the footage were representative of the level of care throughout the crèche.

Senior Counsel Sasha Gayer told the court most of the children were aged under three, pre verbal and had attended the wobbler room at the Malahide crèche.

Counsel said there were three categories of cases. Those children in category one had been assaulted or shouted at aggressively or mistreated in some way. The incidents viewed in the footage came within the legal defnition of assault, the court was told.

Children in this category were mainly awarded €75,000 each.

Those in category two could be seen in the footage witnessing or sitting beside their peers while they were being assaulted or shouted at, counsel said.

A third category of children included those who were present, but not in the footage, who it was claimed were treated in an erratic and inconsistent environment.

Counsel said the children’s parents had separately sued the crèche for breach of contract, nervous shock and distress and these cases had also been settled on undisclosed terms.

In her outline of various cases, Ms Gayer said some children were picked up roughly from their sleep mats and slammed back onto them.

Some children were shouted at during meal times or “circle” time and one child had had a hand slapped, and was cursed at, for handling food, she said.

Most children had exhibited high levels of stress around nappy changing time, the court was told.

Parents had noticed behavioural difficulties in their children which stopped as soon as they were removed from the crèche.

The court was also told all of the children had made a good recovery and had not suffered any long lasting effects.