A girl allegedly sexually assaulted by a childcare worker in her crèche told gardaí the man "loves doing it" and that she was aware of two other girls he was doing it to, his trial has heard.
The jury in the trial of the 29-year-old man was shown a video of the then eight-year-old girl being interviewed by a specialist garda in January 2017, a month after the allegations came to light.
The 29-year-old man has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 23 counts of sexually assaulting the girls between February 2015 and December 2016. They were aged between five and eight at the time.
Ten of the counts relate to the child whose evidence was heard today. She was aged between seven and eight years old at the time.
The offences allegedly took place in various locations within the crèche, including in an afterschool room and a bathroom, as well as on a bus owned by the crèche, the court heard.
No parties in the case can be named to protect the identities of the children.
The jury was told the girl, who is now aged 11, was also watching the video in another room in court.
The little girl talked about her friends, her favourite colours and how she liked drawing pictures of butterflies, flowers and love hearts, before the conversation turned to afterschool.
When asked how she liked crèche, the girl said: "It's good." She then said that because she is now older, she goes to the accused man's afterschool room. "Sometimes he touches my privates," she said.
She said she couldn't remember the first time it happened, but she remembered the last time, "because he could see I was getting a little bit upset about it and he thought I'd tell my mammy and daddy and he stopped it".
The girl said the man only touched her on her "privates", sometimes under her underwear and sometimes over her clothes. She said he didn't touch her anywhere else and he never asked her to touch him.
She told the garda interviewer that the man would say to her: "Do you like it?" and she would "normally say no". The girl told the garda that the man rubbed her using his hand. Other times she said he touched her using his phone when it was buzzing.
The girl said the touching often occurred in the book corner of the afterschool room an area which contained a couch, beanbags and cushions. She said the man would sometimes wrap a blanket around her before touching her.
"Sometimes he would take you to the corner because he doesn't want anyone to see," the girl said. She said other children would be playing in the room at the time.
She said the man also sometimes touched her "quickly" when he was securing her seat belt on the crèche bus which took her to and from school.
She said it also happened on one occasion on a window sill in another room and in a toilet cubicle in the crèche. On the latter occasion, she said the man looked over the cubicle door, reached over and unlocked it before entering and touching her.
The girl said she was not the only child being touched by the man. She said she was aware he touched her best friend and another girl. All three girls are complainants in the case.
"I kind of know he loves doing it because he does it a lot to (the third girl), a lot to (her best friend) and a lot to me," the girl said. She said she knew this because both girls told her the man touched them.
She alleged the man sometimes gave her sweets before touching her, which he kept in a shelf in the afterschool room. When asked how often it happened, she replied: "I don't know. I can't count that much but he does it a lot of times."
The girl said she told her father and then her mother about the alleged assaults. She said her mother said she would talk to the crèche manager, but the girl wasn't sure what happened after that.
When asked what the man was like, the girl replied: "Sometimes he can be mean. When you do something wrong he shouts at you."
She described a game one day in which the man asked an older child to pick which child was the "nicest" and the "ugliest".
The girl said the older child picked her as the ugliest. "That hurted (sic) my feelings," she said. When asked what the man said, she said, "(He) didn't do anything. He was saying who was the ugliest and (the older child) was picking."
After the video of her interview was shown, the girl was cross examined by the man's defence counsel, Sean Guerin.
Under cross examination via videolink, the girl denied making up the allegations.
She said she didn't tell another girl about what had happened because she thought that girl would "go blabbering to someone else".
She said she thought she did something wrong and said if she had told someone, they probably would have thought she was lying.
When Mr Guerin put it to the girl that she was afraid she might get into trouble for making things up, the girl replied: "No. I wasn't making it up."
The girl denied making jokes about the man to her best friend. She said she didn't like what he was doing at the time so she didn't joke about it.
She said she could not remember telling a staff member anything about the man on 12 December 2016.
The girl agreed with Mr Guerin that it would have been possible for other people in the room to see the man touching her in the area of the room where she claimed it happened.