Child accidentally locked up in creche to receive €16,000


20 July 2021

A judge has approved a €16,000 personal injuries settlement for a five-year-old child who was locked up alone in a hotel creche.

Chloe O’Donovan had been unintentionally locked up in the Mount Wolseley Hotel’s Kids Club, barrister Eamon Shanahan told Judge John O’Connor of the Circuit Civil Court yesterday.

The child had tried to get herself out and failed, and she had suffered upset and distress, Mr Shanahan said.

Chloe’s mother Brenda Griffin, of Manor Mills, Rathcormac, Co Cork, told Judge O’Connor in a statement outlining what happened that her family had been staying in the Mount Wolseley in July 2017 when the incident occurred.

She said Chloe, who is now nine, had been playing in the hotel’s creche, known as the Kids Club, and had been locked in the room on her own for around half-an-hour.

“After I collected her she did not speak for about an hour but gradually described what had occurred and how she had tried to leave the room and had started crying when she found she could not do so,” Ms Griffin said.

Mr Shanahan said Chloe’s parents noted a change in her behaviour afterwards as she became more dependent. 

She would become anxious if left alone even for a brief period and suffered intermittent nightmares for a short period after the incident.

He said the family had decided not to put Chloe through potentially further distress by having her receive formal treatment, and her parents had decided to treat her sensitively at home with love and care.

“Chloe made a full recovery and I am recommending the proffered settlement to the court,” Mr Shanahan said.

Judge O’Connor, in approving the €16,000 settlement and awarding Circuit Court costs, said it had been a harrowing experience for a child so young.

Chloe, through her mother, had sued Mount Wolseley Hospitality Limited for wrongful imprisonment and negligence.

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