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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 2 December 2021

Tusla can't prosecute creche over Prime Time revelations

The Child and Family agency said it is seeking urgent legal advice over yesterday’s court decision as it is “critical” it has the law on its side.

Giraffe Childcare in Stepaside.
Giraffe Childcare in Stepaside.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE CHILD AND Family Agency Tusla has said it remains committed to ensuring that pre-school service providers live up to required standards, following a court decision that the agency does not have a standing to bring a case against a Dublin creche.

Tusla had attempted to prosecute Giraffe Childcare in Stepaside for three breaches of the Childcare Act relating to ratios, safety and welfare, following a 2013 RTÉ Prime Time investigation. However a judicial review yesterday found the agency could not bring retrospective prosecutions as the act was only incorporated in January 2014.

In a statement, Tusla said it will continue to give parents the information they need to be vigilant about their children’s care and ensure service providers are up to scratch by investigating complaints and, where necessary, through prosecutions.

“With specific reference to the substance of today’s court case, it is my understanding that sections 82 and 88 of the Child and Family Agency Act 2013 confer all the necessary powers to the Agency to allow it to carry out its functions fully,” commented Gordon Jeyes, Chief Executive of Tusla after the decision yesterday.

He said he has asked the Tusla legal office to have the decision reviewed as a matter of urgency.

“It is imperative that Tusla has at its disposal all legitimate powers to protect the rights of children and, where it feels such rights have been impinged, it is critical that Tusla has recourse to the law to address these matters.”

Read: Links Creche faces 24 charges after claims of ‘disrespectful, degrading and exploitative’ treatment>

Read: Is one inspector for 21,000 kids good enough?… Fresh questions raised over Ireland’s creches>

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