The two creche owners behind the Dublin firm that was at the centre of an RTÉ 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 the RTÉ Prime Time: Breach of Trust programme.
In 2015, 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 which occurred on eight different dates across February and March 2013. The court heard that 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”.
At the High Court last year, settlements totalling over €1m were approved for 22 children in cases arising from the RTÉ documentary.
The 22 children had sued Links Creche and Montessori Ltd, with offices in Rathmines, Dublin, and sister firm Links Creche Southside Ltd, Kinsealy, along with the crèche owners, Deirdre and Padraig Kelly of Myra Manor, Kinsealy, over alleged mistreatment at the Links Abington facility.
New accounts for Links Creche and Montessori Ltd lodged with the Companies Office show that the firm’s two directors, Deirdre and Padraig Kelly, paid themselves an aggregate €175,000 last year, following an aggregate €175,000 in 2015.
Numbers employed by Links Creche and Montessori Ltd declined last year from 132 to 129 while the numbers at sister firm, Links Creche Southside Ltd, increased from 42 to 44.
The combined wage bill for the two firms last year, including directors’ pay, totalled €3.26m, with Links Creche and Montessori paying out €2.44m and Links Creche Southside paying out €810,998. In the 12 months to the end of October last, Links Creche & Montessori Ltd’s accumulated profits decreased by €217,806 from €667,449 to €449,643.
The drop in accumulated profits is more than accounted for by non-cash depreciation costs of €230,997.
The cash pile at the firm increased from €203,593 to €279,687. Links Creche Southside Ltd recorded a profit of €129,805 in the 12 months to the end of October last. During the year, the firm’s cash pile reduced from €182,918 to €107,372.
The business is co-owned by Deirdre Kelly, along with members of her family, and has been operating for 13 years. Other shareholders are listed as Padraig Kelly, Gillian Kelly, Nicola Kelly, and Edward Kelly.
During that 13-year period, the business has grown rapidly, with creches at Abington in Malahide, Balbriggan, Citywest, Clonee, Blackrock, two in Portmarnock, Dromcondra, Clontarf, and Kinsealy.
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