Limerick mother warned she faces prison over son’s truancy

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Solicitor Muiris Gavin says there are huge concerns about the boys poor attendance record
the mother of a teenage boy has been warned she will go to prison if her son misses a single school day between now and the end of June.

the mother of a teenage boy has been warned she will go to prison if her son misses a single school day between now and the end of June.

The warning was issued by Judge Marian O’Leary after she was told the 15-year-old had been absent for 23 out the previous 26 school days.

Solicitor Muiris Gavin, representing Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, said there are huge concerns about the boy’s poor attendance record.

He added that a younger sister of the boy had missed 15 out of 28 school days while another sister had missed 13.

Mr Gavin told the judge that when the woman was previously threatened with jail her son’s attendance record improved dramatically.

“It is quite clear the fear of the mother going to jail resulted in him going to school,” he said.

The boy’s solicitor, Sarah Ryan, said her client won’t do what his mother tells him to do and that he has “no positive male role model in his life”.

“There is nobody he respects,” she said adding that he has “come to the attention” of gardai in recent months.

In her evidence, the woman said her son was a problem and that he refuses to go to school.

However, Judge O’Leary warned the woman she will go to prison if her son misses another school day.

The judge said the woman should be “doing everything in her power” to ensure her children attend school.

“Your son will have a very big problem if you are not there to look after him. Tell him he will be responsible for you going to jail if he does not go to school,” she said.

The case was adjourned for a month for review.