THE MOTHER of a young boy who has missed almost three quarters of school days since September has been warned care proceedings may be initiated of matters do not improve.
Tusla – the Child and Family agency has initiated proceedings against the woman who lives on the northside of the city.
During a procedural hearing at Limerick District Court, solicitor Dermot G O’Donovan said concerns first emerged around a year ago and that Tusla is concerned given the age of the boy who is in first class.
A report which was prepared for the court stated the eight-year-old had missed more than 90 out of a 123 school days during the current academic year.
There have been 43 recorded absences since the beginning of 2019 with just three certified by a GP.
Mr O’Donovan said a number of agencies, including Barnardos, are assisting the woman and that there have been “some improvements” in the boy’s rate of attendance at school since the court proceedings were initiated.
He added that the young boy is “well behaved and well-liked” when he attends school.
Judge Marie Keane was told there are also some concerns in relation to the attendance rate of a younger brother of the boy.
Solicitor Tom Kiely said his client “presents as homeless” and has been experiencing some difficulties in recent times.
He said she has now secured accommodation and understands her responsibilites. “She has become more proactive” he said.
Mr Kiely said his client does not drive or own a car and that she lives “a distance” from her son’s school which is not ideal.
Having listened to the submissions and considered a report prepared for the court, Judge Keane said she was concerned not enough is being done by the defendant.
“I’m concerned there is a lot of activity, there needs to be action,” she said adding there will only be a successful outcome if she takes appropriate action.
“The ball is in her court,” she commented.
The judge agreed to adjourn the matter to early July on condition that a detailed plan is put in place by the defendant.
“The plan must be put in writing, she is to adhere to the plan,” she said adding she expects immediate action will be taken.