Thursday 27 July 2017

Owner of creche featured on RTE's Primetime exposé cleared of any wrongdoing as charges withdrawn

Deirdre Kelly of Links Creche, Malahide Picture: Collins Courts
Deirdre Kelly of Links Creche, Malahide Picture: Collins Courts
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

A Dublin creche has been fined €1,000 for breaching childcare laws, after featuring in a RTE Prime Time investigation.

The Links creche in Malahide, and it's owner Deirdre Kelly, had been facing a total of 24 charges in court, brought by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.

Links Creche at Abington Wood in Malahide
Links Creche at Abington Wood in Malahide

However, the four charges against Ms Kelly were withdrawn and Judge John O'Neill said that "no fault applies to her in any shape or form".

Of the remaining 20 charges against the creche which were initially being brought, Dublin District Court heard this morning that 12 were being withdrawn and just eight remained.

Lawyers for the Child and Family Agency told the court that a number of incidents had been recorded between February and March 2013.

The court was told that some of the children attending the creche had been shouted at, cursed in front of, "slammed into a chair" and that a staff member had been forceful.

The court heard that '99pc' of the incidents related to one particular staff member who has since left the company,

Lawyers for Ms Kelly said that she was taking the matter "very seriously" and described her as a very private person.

She has also offered to pay a contribution toward the prosecution costs, the hearing heard.

Judge John O'Neill said that based on the fact that the creche provided a high level of cooperation during the investigation and that it "appears to have been an isolated incident", he was fining them €1,000 in relation to a charge which occurred on February 25, which they have two months to pay.

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