Suspended sentence for parents of primary school truants

Published 24/03/2016 | 00:49

Judge's gavel.
Judge's gavel.

One month jail sentences were recorded against a New Ross district couple whose children’s record of attendance at school concerned Judge Gerard Haughton.

The prosecution taken by the Child and Family Support Agency had its origins in the school year 2011/2012 when both children missed class in their primary school on more than 90 days.

The rate improved after this but the agency’s welfare officer Sheila Clarke was worried that the youngsters had missed almost one day in every five during the current 2015/2016 school year.

‘I am doing my best,’ the mother told the District Court sitting in Ardcavan, adding that some days she kept the children at home for her own comfort as she suffered from chronic anxiety.

Judge Haughton responded that the failure to send the children to school was a form of neglect which seriously interfered with their future, threatening to put them at enormous disadvantage.

He recorded the prison terms on parents, suspended once they had signed bonds to keep the peace for a year.

Then the couple departed from the court complex in time to collect their offspring from school.

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