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Thursday 14 November 2019

Child's assault and battery claim against crèche to be heard by jury

Creche owner Deirdre Kelly
Creche owner Deirdre Kelly

Ray Managh

Claims for damages on behalf of a child allegedly assaulted and mistreated at a Dublin crèche, which was the subject of a programme on RTÉ, will be heard before a judge and jury, the High Court has confirmed.

Mr Justice John Hedigan refused an application by the owners of two Links crèches, Deirdre and Padraig Kelly, and the HSE, to set aside the notice of trial before a judge and jury.

The judge said the proceedings arose from the alleged assault, battery and mistreatment occasioned to young children, including the infant plaintiff, Megan Walsh Bookey, who is suing through her mother Julianne Cullen.

He said they were attending the childcare facility Links Abington, Malahide, and most if not all of the children who are suing the defendants attended that part of the crèche known as the "wobbler room".

Judge Hedigan said the Malahide crèche was one of three premises which had been the subject of a broadcast by the RTÉ 'Prime Time' programme on May 28, 2013.

The footage recorded in the Malahide crèche had been filmed in or around March 2013 and showed what had been described in the defence delivered in the proceedings as "inappropriate" behaviour where some staff yelled, swore at, pulled, flipped or pushed and generally mishandled the young children in their care.

The judge said that in addition to The Links Crèche Southside Limited and The Links Crèche and Montessori Limited, the crèche owners, Mr and Mrs Kelly had also been sued in view of the significant control that was exercised by them over the crèche and the activities of the staff. Proceedings had also been commenced against the HSE in its capacity as the statutory body charged with supervision of pre-school services.

Irish Independent

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