Friday 6 December 2019

Teens in truancy case agree to change PlayStation habits after meeting judge

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Tom Tuite

Two teenage truants whose mother faced a possible jail sentence because they missed "chunks" of school have agreed to a change of rules about their PlayStation after a meeting with a judge.

Judge Anthony Halpin said parents "are under "tremendous pressure, a lot more pressure than when I was a child, with PlayStations and videogames and whatever, that will sometimes take over".

The teenagers had to come to the school attendance prosecution which continued at Dublin District Court yesterday.

Their mother is accused of breaking the Education (Welfare) Act by not complying with official warnings about her children's school attendance. She is being prosecuted by the Child and Family Agency (CFA).

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School attendance notices were sent in October 2017 and November last year in relation to her son and daughter.

Last October 31, defence solicitor Emer O'Sullivan told the court the south Dublin woman was a "very caring mother and really does her best" and had "two lovely kids".

Ms O'Sullivan had said the teens were not taking the matter seriously and she suggested a meeting the judge would help.

"I would frighten the bejaysus out of them," the judge had replied.

"They might need that," the solicitor replied.

The siblings met the judge in private yesterday, as planned.

Afterwards, when the case was called in court, he said: "We came out with rules, especially in relation to the PlayStation".

He said the meeting was done in a "good cop, bad cop way". The case was adjourned until a date in January to monitor progress.

The mother has not yet indicated how she will plead.

The penalty on first conviction is a fine of up to €1,000 and a possible one-month sentence per charge.

Irish Independent

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