Sunday 25 August 2019

Gardaí investigate crèche sex assault allegations

Last night gardaí confirmed that an investigation was under way involving Tusla. Stock picture
Last night gardaí confirmed that an investigation was under way involving Tusla. Stock picture

Ken Foy

Gardaí have launched an investigation after receiving a complaint that two children were sexually assaulted at a crèche by a staff member.

The shocking allegations centre around a well-known crèche in Co Kildare and specialist officers have been investigating the case since complaints were made last week.

It's understood that the complaints were made to Co Kildare gardaí by two different parents in the past 10 days.

No arrests have been made in the case and the crèche remains open.

Last night gardaí confirmed that an investigation was under way involving Tusla.

Tusla is the State's child protection agency and is involved in multiple investigations in relation to alleged abuse of children.

"An Garda Síochána is investigating a complaint and is currently working with Tusla. The investigation is at an early stage and is of a sensitive nature and we are therefore not in a position to comment any further as this is an ongoing investigation," a spokesman said.

It is understood that all parents of children attending the crèche have been informed of the allegations, but it is not known if the staff member has been suspended.

Sources said last night that the matter was being treated "extremely seriously".

The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Investigation Unit is expected to take a leading role in the investigation. This specialist unit leads the investigation of complex cases.

It is believed that specialist child interviewers will be needed to question children who attend the crèche.

The exact nature of the allegations are unknown.

Under Children First Legislation introduced in 2014, there is a statutory obligation on certain professions to report child protection concerns to Tusla.

Gardaí, medical practitioners, teachers, clergy members, social workers and others are required to report concerns.

Tusla does not comment on individual cases.

Irish Independent

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