A prosecution by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, against a crèche and its owner has been adjourned until 9 December.

The prosecution against Links Childcare, Abington Wood, Swords Road, in Malahide and its director, involves 24 charges of multiple breaches of childcare regulations.

It arises out of an RTÉ Investigations Unit programme.

The majority of the charges are against the crèche and involve issues of child welfare and safety.

The court was told there were alleged welfare-type breaches of the pre-school regulations involving disrespectful, exploitative or degrading treatment.

Director Deirdre Kelly is being prosecuted for allegedly failing to ensure records were open to inspection by the authorities and failing to ensure the appropriate vetting of all staff, students and volunteers.

The charges against the crèche arising from the RTÉ programme include failing to ensure that no practices that are disrespectful, degrading, exploitative, intimidating, emotionally or physically harmful or neglectful were carried out in respect of any child contrary to the childcare pre-school regulations.

Further charges include allegedly failing to take all reasonable measures to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of children.

The breaches are alleged to have taken place on a number of dates in February, March and May 2013.

The RTÉ programme, called A Breach of Trust, focused on the care of children in three crèches and aired in May 2013.

Investigations were opened by the child and family section of the Health Service Executive, which later became Tusla.

Video footage from inside the crèches formed part of the inquiries.

The footage was taken by undercover reporters with childcare qualifications.

Judge John O'Neill granted a disclosure order by consent allowing the defence to view 40 hours of RTÉ footage.

Lawyers for the crèche and Ms Kelly told the court this morning they were seeking further disclosure and said it would be highly prejudicial to their defence if not provided with this information. 

They said the case involved very serious allegations.  

They said there was reference by the "star witness" to 200 hours of footage and they had only been provided with 40.

The court was told the crèche and Ms Kelly had not had sight of a statement to gardaí by the key witness and they also wanted documentation relating to the key witness reporting to the head of RTÉ's Investigations Unit, Paul Maguire.

Lawyers for Tusla said they did not have any of this information and were not relying on it for their prosecution.

They said they had received a letter asking for this information yesterday.

Judge John O'Neill adjourned the case to allow both sides come to an agreement in these issues.

On 9 December, the crèche and Ms Kelly may enter a plea to the charges or seek a date for a full hearing.

The maximum penalty for breaches of the pre-school regulations is a fine of €1,300 and a possible suspension from running a childcare facility.