CHILDREN'S charities have called on the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal the suspended jail term given to a mother who neglected her seven children over a nine-year period.
The 38-year-old woman, described as "cruel and evil" by her daughter, received a suspended four-year jail term on Monday at Ennis Circuit Court.
But the sentence sparked controversy among children's charities who said it sent the wrong message about the seriousness of child neglect.
Barnardos chief executive Fergus Finlay said yesterday: "Cases of neglect must be seen as having a profound negative impact on children throughout their lives."
Advocacy manager at the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), Mary Nicholson, said: "The sentence is quite lenient."
Ms Nicholson described as "horrific" the neglect suffered by the children.
The DPP has three weeks in which to appeal the sentence.
The woman pleaded guilty to the neglect and ill-treatment of the five girls and two boys.