€35,000 Giraffe Creche Compensation has been awarded to seven-year-old Emily Martin who was filmed in an RTE documentary on creche mismanagement tied into a chair and left to cry during nap time when she was just 21 months old.
Presiding Judge Simons was that that n 2013 an RTE journalist took up a undercover role at the Giraffe Creche in Stepaside. She was employed as childcare worker and was able to secretly record the daily practices for a duration of six weeks. The footage she captured was broadcast on May 28, 2013 displaying many of the children being badly treated.
Emily Martin, via her father Jonathan Martin, was recorded as part of RTE’s first undercover creche expose. she took the Giraffe Creche Compensation action against Giraffe Childcare and the Health Service Executive (HSE).
The court was told that Emily had been attending the Giraffe Creche at Belarmine Copse, Enniskerry Road, Stepaside, Dublin from the time that she was eight months old. Just after her first birthday she was moved into into the ‘wobbler room’. Her (Emily’s) parent’s informed Judge Simons that they had considered the claims of the creche brochure that the care given was of a ‘premium nature’ before enrolling Emily to attend.
They said that they became extremely distressed upon viewing the RTE Primetime documentary footage. The footage in question showed their child tied to a chair to prevent her from walking. There was more footage of Emily crying while holding her toy horse was she was having difficulty getting to sleep during nap time.
Counsel for Emily and her parents advised the judge that Emily was told to ‘go asleep’ repeatedly and a creche worker threatened to taken the toy horse away from her when she did not. The RTE reporter tried to comfort Emily as she was crying but was directed to ‘leave her cry’. Emily parent’s immediately took her away from the care of the creche upon viewing the documentary footage.
Her parents also told the Judge that, once she was moved into the wobbler room,Emily began to experience trouble sleeping and would regularly often become angry and would shout. After she was taken away from the the creche this behaviour came to an end.
The creche abuse compensation action alleged that Giraffe creche had failed to put in place proper precautions for Emily’s safety, had wrongly restrained children in chairs and had tried to put them to sleep in a cruel way. In addition to this it was claimed that supervision and training of staff it was not conducted properly.
A different claim was taken by the Nolan family against he Health Service Executive, stating that the body had not made sure that the creche complied with all childcare regulations.
A settlement was agreed between all parties involved and Judge Simons said he was happy to approve this Giraffe creche compensation settlement, which included meeting the costs of the legal action.