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'I was horrified by what I saw'

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The Links Creche at Abington, Malahide today.

The Links Creche at Abington, Malahide today.

The Links Creche at Abington, Malahide today.

PARENTS at one of the creches featured in RTE's expose said they were "horrified" by secretly recorded footage but added they still had confidence in the majority of staff looking after their kids.

Mums and dads arriving at the Links creche in Malahide this morning told how the secretly recorded footage at three creches had upset and worried them.

But they said they believed that a minority of workers had brought scandal to an otherwise healthy child care industry.

The three creches where mistreatment was exposed were the Links creche in Malahide, right, the Giraffe creche at Belarmine, Stepaside, and the Little Harvard creche at Rathnew in Co Wicklow.

At Links at Abington in Malahide (pictured inset, right) today, one dad said he was "horrified" by footage that showed a staff member flipping children over on mats and shouting at children to go asleep.

"I was horrified by what I saw, but there are so many good people in there too," he said, after dropping his daughter off at the creche.

"I think one person has destroyed the reputation of the creche, but my girl loves going there. The creche will be watched and monitored from now on I suppose," he added.

Many parents did not wish to comment as they arrived at the creche with their babies and children today.

But one parent, Adekunle Adeonojobi, said he was "glad the ills in the creche were exposed".

He said he was happy to leave his child in Links as a lot of changes were being made to its system of care.

A mother told the Herald that there had been "one bad egg" in the creche staff and that it did not reflect the rest of the Links personnel.

"I am very happy to leave my child here, but I do think the girls working in Links need more support," she explained.

"At the end of the day, it's a vocation like nursing or teaching, and I have every confidence in the team in Links," the woman added.

As the fallout from last night's broadcast continues, management at the Giraffe chain of creches said it was "profoundly sorry for the distress caused to the parents and children directly involved in our Belarmine creche."

The Little Harvard creche said that the management and staff "wish to apologise to the parents and children for any distress caused in its Rathnew creche."

There was no updated comment from the Links.

The Association of Childhood Professionals has voiced its concern at the findings of the RTE Prime Time investigation and said the programme showed repeat instances of practices that are not acceptable for the childhood sector.

cfeehan@herald.ie


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