Limerick teen can’t get up for school due to playing his video games ‘all night’

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Judge Marian O’Leary has given his parents a stern warning that “there will be consequences” if the situation does not improve

Judge Marian O’Leary has given his parents a stern warning that “there will be consequences” if the situation does not improve

A TEENAGE boy has missed more than half of his school days because he is not able to get up in the morning due to late night video game sessions, Limerick District Court has heard.

And Judge Marian O’Leary has given his parents a stern warning that “there will be consequences” if the situation does not improve by next month.

Last Friday, the court was told that the 14-year-old pupil has missed 68% of his second year in secondary school so far this year, and that there was “no medical explanation” for his absence.

The court heard that the boy missed 120 of 173 days of his first year in secondary school.

The father, represented by solicitor Ted McCarthy, was present in court.

“This man is up all night playing games. How can he get up in the morning?” Judge O’Leary asked, to which Tusla’s solicitor Kevin Sherry replied: “His excuse is that he can’t get up in the morning.”

Judge O’Leary said that this was “not acceptable” and was informed that the parents have not availed of support from Barnados, a charity that helps children and families.

“They have been offered every opportunity and they are still not availing of it,” Judge O’Leary told Mr McCarthy

She added: “He is up all night playing games. This has to be resolved.”

Mr McCarthy told the judge that both parents have “ongoing difficulties”, adding: “They do need the support of someone like Barnados.”

Judge O’Leary referenced a report which stated that the son was “a very bright, young boy”, adding: “I take a very dim view of the parents.”

The judge, adjourning the matter to December 7, told Mr McCarthy: “There will be consequences if there is not a very good improvement on the next date.”

Mr McCarthy suggested that the parents remove the child’s mobile phone and PlayStation.

At the end of the hearing, Judge O’Leary asked: “As a matter of interest, is [he] in school today?”

Mr Sherry replied: “It’s the mid-term break.”