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Friday 15 December 2017

Bosses at scandal-hit creche paid €350k to themselves in 2 years

The Links Abington creche in Malahide which was the subject of an RTE investigation
The Links Abington creche in Malahide which was the subject of an RTE investigation

The owners of the Dublin creche at the centre of an RTE investigation alleging mistreatment of children have paid themselves a total of €350,000 over the past two years.

In 2013, the Links Abington creche in Malahide was the subject of an RTE documentary called A Breach Of Trust.

Two years later, the firm that operates the creche - Links Creche & Montessori Ltd - was fined €1,000 at Dublin District Court after pleading guilty to eight charges pertaining to incidents that happened on eight different dates across February and March 2013.

The court heard that, during these dates, a toddler was "shouted at" after she soiled herself.

Another child was pushed to the floor, while on a later date a child was "slammed in a chair and shouted at for trying to feed herself".

Last year, at the High Court, settlements totalling more than €1m were approved for 22 children in cases arising from the RTE documentary.

Through their parents, the 22 children had sued the company and its sister firm, Links Creche Southside Ltd, along with the creche's owners, Deirdre and Padraig Kelly, of Myra Manor, Kinsealy, over alleged mistreatment.

Now, new accounts for Links Creche & Montessori Ltd lodged with the Companies Registration Office show that the firm's two directors, Deirdre and Padraig Kelly, paid themselves an aggregate €175,000 both last year and in 2015.

The Kellys continue to operate a thriving business in spite of the fallout from the RTE investigation, judging by the numbers employed by their firms.

Links Creche & Montessori Ltd's employee numbers declined marginally last year from 132 to 129, while the sister firm increased its staff from 42 to 44, giving a total of 173.

The combined wage bill for the two firms last year, including the cost of directors' pay, was €3.26m, with Links Creche & Montessori paying out €2.44m and Links Creche Southside €810,998.

Cash

In the 12 months to the end of last October, Links Creche & Montessori Ltd's accumulated profits decreased by €217,806 from €667,449 to €449,643.

However, the drop in accumulated profits is more than accounted for by non-cash depreciation costs of €230,997 for the year. The cash pile at the firm increased from €203,593 to €279,687 last year.

Links Creche Southside Ltd recorded a profit of €129,805 in the 12 months to the end of October 2016. During the year, the firm's cash pile reduced from €182,918 to €107,372.

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