A list of Health Service Executive inspection reports on 38 creche and pre-school facilities in Limerick city and county has been published.

A total of 16 were found to have failed to comply with standards under at least one heading.

It is the first list of HSE reports to be published on foot of a Government promise to provide transparency in the wake of the RTÉ Prime Time exposé on the sector last May.

It found evidence of physical and psychological mistreatment of children and babies in some privately-run facilities in the greater Dublin area.

The Limerick reports published today show that a number of creches were found not to have obtained garda clearance and/or references for staff.

One facility, Kilcolman Community Creche in Ardagh, has been told by inspectors, not for the first time, to thoroughly deep clean a number of areas on the premises.

A strong odour was detected from the nappy changing area and the mechanical ventilator needed to be repaired.

Subsequent correspondence from the creche owner with the HSE indicates these matters have been dealt with.

Meanwhile, there has been criticism that the HSE's list is proving very difficult for members of the public to access.

Limerick TD Niall Collins has criticised the HSE for failing to provide direct access to the reports on the website of a sister organisation, Pobal.