Couple fined for failing to send children to school
A COUPLE were fined €2,000 in court yesterday for failing to send their children to school.
Monica O'Connor and Eddie O'Neill, Tullow, Co Carlow, who have home educated all of their six children, were found guilty of not sending two of them to local schools on, and since, November 14, 2012.
The couple were summonsed after they refused to register their two children with the National Educational Welfare Board, which allows parents and guardians to home educate their children.
In Carlow District Court, Mr O'Neill argued that it was their constitutional right to educate their children at home and that they shouldn't have to register them with the board.
Emer Farrell from the educational board said that people who want to educate their children at home must register them first and that a follow-up assessment would be carried out.
Judge Patrick Clyne was told about how the couple had been home schooling their children for the past 24 years. But he said the State "had a right to decide whether the children were getting a minimum education".
The couple were then convicted and fined €2,000 and were given six months to pay. Ms O'Connor said that they would appeal the ruling.