Wednesday 28 September 2016

'Go to school or parents face jail', judge tells girl (14)

Gordon Deegan

Published 19/03/2016 | 02:30

'In his chambers, Judge Durcan told the girl he wasn't happy that she continues to miss school' Stock photo: Getty
'In his chambers, Judge Durcan told the girl he wasn't happy that she continues to miss school' Stock photo: Getty

A judge has warned a 14-year-old schoolgirl that if she doesn't go to school, her parents will be sent to jail.

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Up until December, the third-year student had an absentee rate of 77.9pc having missed 53 out of 68 school days.

At Ennis District Court yesterday, Judge Patrick Durcan sounded a warning to the school shy teen after hearing the girl missed a further day of school last Monday.

Solicitor for the Child and Family Agency (CFA) Kevin Sherry said that no medical certificate or reason was given for Monday's absence.

The girl was present in court with her two parents and the judge invited the family into his chambers.

In his chambers, Judge Durcan told the girl he wasn't happy that she continues to miss school.

Asking the girl what she found wrong with school, she said: "I don't like it."

He told her: "Part of my job is that I have to deal with these issues. If you don't come up to the mark, I have to take steps that affect your mum and dad and that means prison."

Mr Sherry told the judge that there were no issues regarding the girl falling behind at school and that services were available to her.

Judge Durcan said that he would adjourn the case for a couple of weeks to see how the girl fared in terms of her attendance record at school.

He warned her: "I don't do the flu or colds, so I want to see you in school every day.

"We are not dragging this on indefinitely. I will deal with this on April 15 and if there isn't 100pc attendance, I can't be carrying this on."

Irish Independent

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