Links Childcare Settlement
Coleman Legal Partners were recently involved in the settlements between 22 children and their families and Links Childcare, Malahide. In May 2013, the RTE Investigation Unit broadcast a documentary which revealed, through undercover footage, staff of the crèche mistreating children in their care which included incidents of physical assaults and verbal abuse. These incidents included children being picked up roughly from their sleep mats and slammed back onto them and staff shouting at children during mealtimes or circle time. One child had their hand slapped and was cursed at for handling food.
Cases were brought for 22 children by their parents against Links Childcare upon viewing the footage shot by RTE. Senior Counsel Sasha Gayer told the court there were three categories of cases: those who were assaulted or shouted at on camera, those who were on camera witnessing the abuse and those who were present but not featured on the footage. The majority of these children were under three years of age. The six children who featured in category one received settlements of €75,000 each while the remaining two categories of children received settlements of €40,000 upwards depending on the facts of each individual claim. The sum of the claims totals over €1 million. The settlements were made without admission of liability.
As a result of the abuse, the children exhibited anxiety and behavioural problems particularly around nappy changing time and experienced disturbed sleep. These behavioural problems ceased when the children were taken out of the crèche. The children have since made a full recovery and no long-term effects are expected.
Speaking on behalf of the parents outside the Four Courts, father to one of the children, Ray Farrelly, said the last three years had been “very tough” for all those involved in the case. He said they wanted to ensure that something like this could never happen again. Mr. Farrelly said the parents felt relieved, “but certainly not happy” following the settlement and that the children were doing ok.
The parents of the children reached an undisclosed settlement in their own cases against the crèche.
If you would like to discuss any issues surrounding abuse at a creche facility or nursery, please contact Kathrin Coleman on 01-5313800 or by email at [email protected].