Twenty-two claims for crèche child abuse have been resolved at the High Court following the approval of more than €1 million in compensation payments.
The claims for crèche child abuse were made by the parents of children who attended the Links Abington Crèche in Malahide, Dublin – the crèche having been featured in the RTÉ documentary “Breach of Trust” in May 2013.
On their childrens´ behalf, the parents sued the owners of the crèche – Deirdre and Padraig Kelly – for the alleged mistreatment of their pre-school children. There were three categories of claims for crèche child abuse made against the owners:
- The first category included six children who had been assaulted or shouted at aggressively during the filming of the documentary by the RTÉ Investigations Unit.
- The second category contained children in the footage that had been sitting adjacent to, or in close proximity to, the abused children.
- The third category included children who were present at the time at the time the documentary was being made, but who did not appear on film.
At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard the details of some of the claims for crèche child abuse. One concerned a boy who had mobility issues and was roughly grabbed and slammed onto a mat when he tried to crawl away during “circle time”. Another toddler was roughly picked up and dropped down again on a sleeping mat.
Other cases involved children who were shouted at during mealtimes, and one had a hand slapped and was sworn at for handling food. The judge was told that the Links Abington Crèche was an “erratic and inconsistent environment”, but that none of the children appeared to have suffered any long-term effects after having been removed from the crèche.
The court also heard that the settlements of the claims for crèche child abuse – ranging from €40,000 to €75,000 – were being made without an admission of liability, and that the parents´ separate claim for nervous shock had been settled for an undisclosed amount. Judge Cross approved the settlements as the name of each child, the category of abuse they had allegedly suffered and the amount of compensation was read out in court.