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Insurer in legal battle to cancel policies with crèches in TV exposé

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The insurers of Hyde & Seek, the crèche chain at the centre of a damning undercover television exposé, are seeking to cancel their policies with the business.

The planned cancellation by Ironshore Europe DAC was placed on hold after the Dublin crèche chain secured an interim injunction last week.

A hearing will now take place to decide if the dispute should be referred to an arbitrator.

Mr Justice David Barniville yesterday set November 8 as the date for the hearing at the High Court and approved directions agreed between both sides for the exchange of affidavits and submissions.

Barrister Darren Lehane, for Hyde & Seek Childcare Ltd, said the hearing could take up to three hours.

Hyde & Seek initiated the proceedings against Ironshore and brokerage firm Padraic Smith & Co last Thursday.

The crèche chain is expected to face a raft of lawsuits in the wake of an RTÉ documentary last July which exposed the mistreatment of children.

Following the broadcast, Ironshore indicated it wanted to treat policies held by the crèche chain as void and cancel them. The issue came to a head in recent weeks.

Under the terms of the policies, disputes between the company and its insurer can be referred to arbitration.

This would involve a third party making a determination on the dispute which would be binding on both sides.

The business is run by husband and wife Peter and Anne Davy and has facilities in Glasnevin, Tolka Road and Shaw Street in Dublin.

In a statement last week, Hyde & Seek said it was appropriately and fully insured and could not comment on matters before the courts.

The court heard Padraic Smith & Co wanted to be copied on affidavits and submissions, but would not be making submissions itself ahead of the hearing.

Irish Independent