Former Hyde & Seek crèches director, secretly filmed ‘roughly’ handling toddler, released from prison

A FORMER director of the Hyde & Seek nursery, secretly filming “roughly” handling a toddler to put him to sleep, has been released from prison.

Anne Davy, 66, was fined 4,000 euros today after pleading guilty in Dublin District Court to violating childcare regulations.

Hyde and Seek's Anne Davy image leaving the Four Courts


Hyde and Seek’s Anne Davy image leaving the Four CourtsCredit: Patrick Cummins +353879595701
Hyde and Seek Creche and Montissori at Tolka Road, Dublin


Hyde and Seek Creche and Montissori at Tolka Road, DublinCredit: Garrett White – The Sun

Tusla, the Children & Families Agency, began an investigation following the 2019 broadcast of the television documentary Crèches, Behind Closed Doors.

RTÉ’s Inquiry Team secretly reviewed the standards of care in the family-run preschool, which operates several facilities in Dublin.

In 2019, the Children’s Minister brought charges against him on 22 counts, but the covid-19 pandemic has slowed the proceedings.

Anne Davy pleaded guilty today to three counts. The prosecution has denied all charges against her daughter and the director of Siobhan Davy and the Hyde & Seek confectionery company.

Anne Davy admitted to participating in a disrespectful behavior at her Tolka Road nursery on May 8, 2019, contrary to section 19.3 of the Child Care Act Regulations 1991 (Early Childhood Services). non) 2016.

She also admitted there wasn’t enough room for the child rate at the Shaw Street branch.

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The court heard that 46 children were present there on September 11, 2018 and 35 children on July 19, 2019. However, the court only sanctioned 32 children.

Julie Nohilly, manager of Tusla, who is examining childcare, agrees to the prosecution that RTÉ Investigates decided to conduct covert operations at the Hyde & Seek Tolka Road branch in April and May of this year. 2019.

Judge Anthony Halpin heard that an undercover reporter with childcare qualifications used a hidden camera on her shirt to record.

Davy was filmed as staff tried to put the children to sleep, and she assisted them with an 18-month-old, known in court as Child-A.

That was Mrs Nohilly’s opinion of video evidence that showed Davy “roughly handling the child to try to put him to sleep”.

The court heard that the child’s father became “very upset” when he showed the footage.

Judge Halpin watched the one-and-a-half minute video on a laptop computer.

Witnesses said that the church was fined because 32 children were free to move and play.


Cross-examined by defense attorney Michael Staines, Ms. Nohilly agreed that there were undercover reporters at three of the childcare group’s daycares.

Mrs Nohilly agrees with Mr Staines that the “undercover agent” also tried to put Child-A to sleep but was unable and Davy later joined in.

The witness said the toddler was stable but came back again.

The attorney filed that Davy helped calm the child.

Mr Staines said his client was soothing the child, showing no signs of hatred and speaking softly.

Asked by Judge Halpin to rate the incident on a scale of 1-10 in severity, manager Tusla said: “For me it was 9-10,” adding, “it is harmful to a child’s welfare. young”.

Prosecutor Bernard Condon SC said violations carry a penalty of one year in prison and, or a fine of up to €5,000.

Davy sat quietly throughout the hearing and did not speak in court. Her lawyer pledged to never work on the front lines again on her behalf.


Begging for leniency, Mr Staines said his client was defamed on social media and “even a government minister engaged in her criticism”. She was reported to the gardai and “suffered a lot of abuse from people on the street”.

The lawyer said it was terrible for her to have moved home and quit a job she loved.

The court said she was fined 1200€ in 2005 for not providing adequate supervision. However, the judge held that it obeyed the law that the conviction was spent and he treated her as a defendant with no criminal record.

Judge Halpin commented that it was sad if children were to be dealt with harshly, but he considered the assessment of the severity of Tusla’s witness harsh. He said he would put it on average at five.

He noted Davy’s confession, the media attention, and the abuse she received.

Judge Halpin fined her €4000 for disrespecting the child, and the remaining two charges were considered.

She must pay the fine within six months. Former Hyde & Seek crèches director, secretly filmed ‘roughly’ handling toddler, released from prison

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