Mother gets 21 days jail suspended for son not attending school

By Brendan Grehan

A TALLAGHT woman whose son (13) has not been attending school received a 21-day suspended sentence in Tallaght District Court.

Judge Patricia McNamara ordered that the sentence run consecutively after the sentence the woman is currently serving.

Tallaght Court House 1

The court heard that the boy had missed 98 per cent of school days.

The woman, aged 31, who has an address in Tallaght, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure her son’s attendance at a secondary school in Tallaght on December 11, 2017 and dates subsequently.

An Educational Welfare Officer from Tusla told the court that the case had been referred to her on March 30, 2016, when the boy was in primary school as he was refusing to go to school.

She said he was given an individual education plan and given support by a special needs assistant, but his attendance did not improve.

The EWO said the boy has an undiagnosed emotional behavioural difficulty and to receive treatment he would have to be referred by his GP to the Lucena Clinic.

She said the Lucena Clinic had a waiting list of 10 months.

The EWO said she wrote four letters and spoke to his grandmother eight times.

She said that after she issued the school attendance notice, she wrote five letters to the mother, made four home visits and arranged three meetings with the mother, two of which she attended.

She said that between the issuing of the school attendance notice and the issuing of the summons, the boy had missed 120 out of 122 school days, an absentee rate of 98 per cent.

She said that the boy had been suspended on 27 of those days.

The court heard that the woman is currently in custody.

Her counsel, Stephen Montgomery Bl, said his client married young and had to raise her four children on her own.

He said the boy is extremely aggressive towards his mother.

Judge McNamara sentenced the woman to 21 days jail, suspended for 18 months and ordered that it run consecutively from the termination of her current sentence.

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