Monday 23 April 2018

Couple's bid to quash conviction over teen daughter's non attendance at school dismissed

Judge's gavel.
Judge's gavel.

Tim Healy

THE High Court has dismissed a couple's bid to quash a conviction arising out of their teenage daughter's non attendance at a local secondary school.

Dan Arnold and his wife Maureen were both convicted at Fermoy District Court last April of failing to comply with a notice that their teenage daughter attend at Colaiste an Chraoibhin school in Fermoy.  The offence is contrary to the 2000 Education and Welfare Act.

The couple of Regina Pio, Bartlemy, Fermoy, who were also fined, denied the charge.

They then brought judicial review proceedings against the Child and Family Agency (CFA) seeking leave to challenge the conviction and have it quashed.  They claimed it was unfair and in breach of their constitutional rights as a family.

Mr Arnold, representing himself and his wife, said the convictions were flawed on several grounds including that the CFA had failed to produce any evidence to support its accusations against them.

The CFA had no legal basis for the issuance of a school attendance notice, it was claimed.

It was also claimed the summons he and his wife received was null and void.

The couple said they were denied justice at the District Court and the convictions had imposed a burden on and had adversely affected the family.

The CFA opposed the application and  argued there was insufficient evidence to allow the couple proceed with their action.

After considering submissions from both sides, Mr Justice Donald Binchy dismissed all grounds of the action.

He was satisfied from the evidence before the court, the coupe had not made an arguable case that their application was likely to succeed at a full hearing.

Mr Arnold said he would appeal the decision.

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