A MOTHER-of-nine has been warned she faces the prospect of going to prison if any of her school-going children miss another day at school this year
Tusla - the Child and Family Agency - has initiated legal action against the woman after concerns were raised in relation to the poor attendance record of three of her children at school.
During a review of the case, which first came before the district court last year, solicitor Muiris Gavin, representing Tusla, said while there was an improvement initially, the situation has deteriorated in recent months.
He said the woman’s oldest child - a 14-year-old boy - had a “100% rate of absenteeism” since the last court date in February.
Another child, he said, is “doing everything in her own power to avoid school,” by regularly pretending to be sick.
Mr Gavin said a lot of State agencies are “linked in” with the woman but that she is not fully engaging with them.
Judge Judge Aingeal Ni Chonduin said it is appalling that the three children are not going to school and warned “something has to change”.
She said if the current situation continues, the children will “be out of control and on the streets in a very short time” and that their mother will be visiting them in jail.
In evidence, the woman, who cannot be identified, said she was willing to engage with the various agencies and that she will ensure her children attend school every day.
Adjourning the case until March 27, next Judge Ni Chonduin warned the woman not to mess with the court.
“Don’t waste the resources being offered to you,” she said adding that her undertaking was the “only thing keeping you out of prison”.